Word of the Week #207:

Quarantine

So, all my life, I have worked from home. 

I mean, okay, “home” is a weird topic, right now, but that is an entirely different thing. 

Anyway, spending long hours sitting in front of my Mac, typing away furiously with nary a distraction, that has been my life for as long as I can remember… Or at least as long as I have had a Mac…

Hence, imagine my consternation when the one time I decide working from home is not going to be enough, the entire world seems to want to reverse course. And that too when I was just beginning to feel at home where I currently am. Now, the stores and malls and, well, everything is closing around me.

Fate has a keen sense of irony.

I have little food, little money, and little reason to stay, but I don’t think I should leave either. Also, I don’t want to leave. 

I plan to stay my ground and fight for the home I’ve built, here.

The vibes, right now…

When the gusts came around to blow me down…

That song is just perfect…

But it doesn’t end on a pleasant note.

Then again, what does?

Word of the Week #206:

Abode

Home…

It seems like a simple concept, right?

And yet, for the past several months, it has continued to elude me.

Actually, I only started actively thinking about it in the past few months. I suppose it has weighed on my mind for almost all my life.

As social beings, humans are forever cursed to seek somewhere they belong. I have been seeking for as long as remember.

And it has been a struggle. I could never relate to people, never connect with them. I could never feel at home.

I will accept that I have been lucky to have been surrounded by many people who love me, and a few who might even understand me. I wonder how many people are afforded that luxury. And yet, I always struggled to find somewhere I belong.

And after several months since the stark realisation that I have no home, I have only now begun to understand what I need to do.

I cannot find somewhere I belong because that place does not exist.

Time has come for me to build a home.

This is a place where I don’t feel alone.
This is a place where I feel at home.

— The Cinematic Orchestra, To Build A Home

Word of the Week #205:

Nonpareil

We tend to normalise the things in our lives, right?

I mean, we HAVE to. Otherwise, our lives would be far too skewed.

Still, I believe that when we do this, we tend to overlook too many of the most important things about the world around us. 

We might not notice how comfortable or pleasant our home was until we move away. Because, why would we? Comfort is the norm within our experience, right? A deviation from it is noticed, but its sustained prevalence is forgotten. But after having moved away and struggled to feel “at home” ever again, we realise just how special and valuable that sensation is.

The same goes with people, of course. While we have them around, we do not notice what we have. We may never learn some of the most interesting things about the people we see every single day. Is that not an opportunity too precious to lose?

As an artist, one never knows what single word or idea may spark a masterpiece of a lifetime. Inspiration may be lurking in any corner of your world, just like that scary snake we spotted in the parking last night, which led me to add a new, interesting chapter to an ongoing project.

As I said, inspiration may be lurking in any corner of your world, and you never know when it may strike. 

So, look at the world. Look at the people around you.

See. Understand. Absorb. 

Word of the Week #189:

Ruminate

So, I have been thinking a lot about myself.

Surprising, eh? 

Well, to be specific, I was thinking about what I want from my life and how far I am from my goals in each aspect. I realised that random, unfocused thinking would lead to no results. I needed a system.

Thus, I did what I do best: I turned abstract thoughts and ideas into numbers.

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 10.28.45 PM.png

Looks pretty, right?

I don’t want to propagate the “Lonely Writer Guy” trope. This was really just the status at that very moment. Matters of the heart can change rapidly, and with little warning.

Money is good. I have as much as I could want, right now.

The rest, well, is a work in progress.

It is interesting, right? And helpful, too. Already, I have begun incorporating significant changes in my life based on this assessment.

I have completely transformed my exercise schedule and my diet. I have begun taking better care of my hair and my eyes.

I know what I want, and I go get it.

I wonder if everyone can do this. 

Word of the Week #188:

Verisimilitude

So, I love basketball. I think I have mentioned that a couple of times, here and there.

Still, despite my efforts over the past few years, there are some major deficiencies in my game; and those are quite obvious too, considering my lack of height, athleticism, and any actual training.

  • My jump shot is unreliable
  • My defence is weak against bigger, stronger, faster guys
  • My ball handling is sufficient but by no means stellar
  • I cannot dunk, but just how many normal people can, right?

So what would a guy like me do to live out his NBA fantasies? Why, he’d buy a video games that lets him do it, of course.

And, for the first time in my life, I have both an up-to-date gaming device and enough disposable income to buy the latest game less than a week after it released. 

It was everything I ever wanted… Pretty exciting, right? Right? WRONG!

Turns out, the wise men and women at the gaming company decided to make the game more realistic, whatever that is supposed to mean.

So, now, we cannot make players who are really tall but can also shoot extremely well, although guys like that do exist in real life.

We cannot make guys who are too tall as well as too fast, although guys like that do exist in real life.

We cannot make guys can be excellent at every aspect of the game, although guys like that do exist in real life.

So, basically, you can never create a player worthy of being considered the greatest of all time. I don’t why I thought that was the very point of a video game…

What do I do now? I have to sculpt a player with balanced stats who can be fun to play with. A jack-of-all-trades kind of guy who could be useful in every situation. And, I thought I had done a good job until I realised my specific set of weaknesses:

  • My jump shot is unreliable
  • My defence is weak against bigger, stronger, faster guys, in a league full of big, strong, fast guys
  • My ball handling is sufficient but by no means stellar
  • I cannot dunk, in a league where a lot of guys can dunk

That just makes me sad…

But, as I kept playing, I realised that despite these weaknesses, I was doing pretty well.

Within one season in game time, I was the most important player on my team, and my stats were pretty good. And yet, I was actually pretty much me.

So, in a way, it was almost like I am in the NBA, which is pretty awesome in itself.

I guess that is the point of a video game…

Word of the Week #187:

Lateral

One of the many interesting things about my hair is that I can change their parting upon whim.

And, apparently, not every person can do that.

There have, however, been extensive periods of time when I have preferred one parting, changing it only after several months or even years. 

Most recently, I changed it last week after a period of almost two years.

Now, in the past, I did not think much of it. I am a whimsical guy, after all. I can change my hair whenever I want to.

However, there is something that has recently come to my attention that may make me look at things a little differently.

You see, I have always been distinctly aware of how asymmetrical our faces tend to be. Just try to flip a photo of yours, and the difference is often stark. But, again, I didn’t think much of it.

However, I have recently learned that the facial expressions of each side of our face are controlled by the opposite hemisphere of the brain. Now, these opposite hemispheres also have different other specialisations.

Brain Hemispheres

This means that if you are enjoying a beautiful piece of art, the stimulus will be processed by the right side of your brain, and your reaction would be more prominent on the left side of your face.

So, what does this imply?

This implies that, throughout our lives, we grow up associating certain sides of our faces to certain facets of our lives. We certainly would not notice this, but there are times when we prefer to sit on side particular side of a particular person or view them from a particular angle.

Throughout history, artists have preferred to focus more on the subject’s left side, even more so if the subject is female.

And, as we associate it with others, we do so with our reflections in the mirror as well. We want to focus on certain aspects of our being at certain points in our lives.

Right now, I have two very different jobs: one entirely analytical, mechanical, and learned, and another entirely creative, imaginative, and intuitive. My focus on either can vary significantly, depending on my mood. 

The way I part my hair could be an indication of much more than a whim. It could indicate a switch in my professional priorities and herald the beginning of a whole new era.

However, being left-handed, my hemispheres are not well defined, so which era  this is supposed to be is not something I can tell.

But what I can tell is that, just one week into it, I already want to flip my hair again.

As I said, I can be pretty whimsical.

Word of the Week #186:

Ingeminate

Repetition.

Is it good or bad? How much of it is too much? 

When I find a song I love, I will listen to it on loop for literally weeks or months. Never change. Never tire.

If you ask me which was the book I last read, my answer would often be the same: Perhaps Wuthering Heights, or one of my Agatha Christie favourites. 

That doesn’t mean I haven’t read anything since I read those, but that I read it again, and I shall continue to do so.

I have a few favourite movies and series. I can often be found rewatching them. Within those, I have a few favourite scenes, and there are times when I just want to watch those, nando mo, nando mo.

Is there benefit to trying new things and expanding your horizons? Absolutely, and, while reluctant, I am not averse to that. It is like travelling. It adds to one’s life.

However, what I gain from reading the same book, or watching the same series, or singing the same song, a hundred time cannot be gained by reading a hundred books, or watching a hundred series, or singing a hundred songs, once.

The pleasure of completely immersing yourself in something, absorbing every ounce of its essence, and watching it become a part of your being is irreplaceable.

The pages of your favourite book, the scenes of your favourite series, the bars of your favourite song, the lips of your favourite girl—all hold a piece of your heart and tell you where you belong.

That is home.

As much as I may travel, I have to come home…