It Starts with One.

Jan 19th, 2011 9:40:00pm

One thought. That thought gives rise to another, and another, and another. On on and on, until you finally stop and wonder, “How did I get here?” Most often, or probably always, that first thought is completely unrelated to where you ended up, except through the series of connected thoughts that got you there. With me so far?

Who’s heard of the Six Degrees of Separation theory? I have always loved it. I find it fascinating. The possibility that any two people anywhere in the world, can be connected through six people or less. Imagine it. Six billion people in the world, and you could reach out to any of them through just six. Of course, it all depends on choosing the right first “degree”.

“It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.” – Chaos Theory

That is a famous line, that is. Almost everyone’s heard of it. But has anyone thought of just how much it means? The implications? One word, one action, one decision. That’s all it takes to change… Everything. Anything. It shapes the rest of your life, until another decision alters it, and then another.

That’s how life works. You don’t know what’s ever going to happen because there are so many possibilities that open up with so much as the flexing of your little finger, ever changing with every movement, every moment. It’s mind boggling, but also, in its way, rather beautiful, while additionally being completely and utterly terrifying.

We are all connected. Every one of us. You can try denying it but honestly? There is no denying it at all. We live in one world, in one universe, under one collective consciousness that we may only be truly aware of in the deepest parts of our subconscious. And through that connection, our actions shape our world. Everything has consequence. Everything has a cause and effect, a reaction. It all lies in the choices you make.

Scary, isn’t it? This knowledge comes with such unbelievable responsibility, doesn’t it?
Think of it this way, though. You can’t ever say that you can’t make a difference. Anyone can make a difference. All they have to do is act. To try. Even if you don’t see the change you wished to create in your lifetime, at least know that you set the ball in motion. Your deeds have set a chain reaction in the world, and within our collective consciousness, and the world will never be the same again.

One thought. One decision. One action. It starts with one.

Make it the right one.

Enticement

Mar 24th, 2012 7:03:00pm

The following is an extract from the book Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. It is what provided the inspiration for this particular column and may resound within you almost as much as it did within myself.

“…Now, look, since when did you think being good meant being happy?”

“Since always.”

“Since now learn otherwise. Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smiles, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he’s covering up. He’s had his fun and he’s guilty. And men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors and smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit our appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others, and look to wonder if he didn’t just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt and sin, why, often that’s your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it and sometimes break in two. I’ve known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it’s thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him and sometimes wilts his spine. He can’t let himself alone, won’t lift himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace.

“Oh, it would be lovely if you could just be fine, act fine, not think of it all the time. But it’s hard, right? with the last piece of lemon cake waiting in the icebox, middle of the night, not yours, but you lie awake in a hot sweat for it, eh? do I need tell you? Or, a hot spring day, noon, and there you are chained to your school desk and away off there goes the river, cool and fresh over the rock-fall. Boys can hear clear water like that miles away. So, minute by minute, hour by hour, a lifetime, it never ends, never stops, you got the choice this second, now this next, and the next after that, be good, be bad, that’s what the clock ticks, that’s what it says in the ticks. Run swim, or stay hot, run eat or lie hungry. So you stay, but once stayed, Will, you know the secret, don’t you? don’t think of the river again. Or the cake. Because if you do, you’ll go crazy. Add up all the rivers never swum in, cakes never eaten, and by the time you get my age, Will, it’s a lot missed out on. But then you console yourself, thinking, the more times in, the more times possibly drowned, or choked on lemon frosting. But then, through play dumb cowardice, I guess, maybe you hold off from too much, wait, play it safe.

“Look at me: married at thirty-nine, Will, thirty-nine! But I was so busy wrestling myself two falls out of three, I figured I couldn’t marry until I had licked myself good and forever. Too late, I found you can’t wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else…”

 

Who doesn’t relate to this at some point or another? The struggle between being good and being bad. The temptation that lies in the promise of a thrill, a high, instant gratification as opposed to deprivation and the knowledge you did the right thing. Knowledge that – whether you choose to admit it or not – most often offers little comfort. After all, we are creatures of want, and we want it now. We seek comfort, happiness, good feelings, short as we may know they’ll last.

Rules. Rules. Rules. Rebellion. Rebellion. Rebellion. What will you choose? Why? When? Just once, or over and over again? Temptation licking its lips at the promise of another victim. But are you a victim or a willing participant? Do you choose to eat the cake or lay in a hot sweat, reminding yourself, “It’s not yours”?

Then, the greater question. Does eating it really make you bad? One slice. When is doing the wrong thing actually the right thing? We all know (unless you’re a hermit) that some rules are more for control and out of fear than for the betterment of mankind. We also know that sometimes, a little risk, a little bit of being “bad”, might end up being the best time you’ve ever had. A memory to last your entire lifetime. Or it may end up being a horrible mistake you regret. Then again, don’t people say that one’s greatest regrets are the things you didn’t do, try, experience?

Is there a line between it all? Because I still haven’t found it. Or perhaps my over-thinking it has made the line blurred beyond recognition. Maybe you’re meant to go with your gut instinct on these things. Then again, how do you tell the difference between instinct, base recklessness, and fear?

It gets so very tiring to be good all the time. The reliable one. The trustworthy one. The one you roll your eyes at the thought of them ever doing anything “bad”. Temptation is a beast that never tires, never surrenders, and can worm its way into every aspect of life. The longer one fights it, it seems, the stronger it gets, and the more exhausted and frustrated you get. The downward spiral is scary. There’s always the fear that giving in to Temptation once makes you more vulnerable to attack another time. It does, really, especially if trying something that’s known to be addictive. Once you’ve had a taste, just a taste… You find yourself longing for more.

What is right and what is easy? Why can’t the right thing be easy for once? Why is it that our “dark” side feels more dominant than our light? The eternal battle. How do you know which side to give in to in what situation? There is always risk, yes, but how do you figure out what is worth that risk and what isn’t?

Perhaps there is no clear cut answer. Maybe there really isn’t a line. Simply grey areas that everyone has to find on their own, depending on their own personalities, their own lives, their own beasts of Temptation.

Magical Pages

Aug 20th, 2010 1:56:00am

I love to read. It’s one of my most favourite things to do. No, scratch that. It is my most favourite thing to do. The beauty of the written word, its power and ability to change lives, to create, to destroy, to bring to life and surface things one would not have been able to imagine otherwise; it’s a remarkable thing. Words have impact.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

I hate that line. Words do hurt. They can stab you where you least expect it. They have a greater effect than the originator of that line could have possibly imagined. Words can discourage and demolish, just as they can inspire and motivate.

Books are my source of pleasure. In them is where I seek those glorious words I have so much respect and admiration for. Books are where I find my escape.

That is why it saddens me, seeing all the new software for reading books digitally. Actually no, not reading books digitally, simply: reading digitally. I don’t consider a book a book, unless you can feel it, see it, smell it, turn its pages, open it with excitement and anticipation, and close it regretfully when it is over.

There are advantages to the software, yes. No need to carry a heavy weight. Cheaper because money that would otherwise be spent on printing and cover designing and illustrations is saved. Hey, no paper cuts! No fire hazards. No wastage of paper either therefore making it a greener option.

But is it really a wastage of paper? Is the excitement of holding a book in your hands, either a fresh copy or one that’s in tatters from being read so often because of words that comfort you in their familiarity, no matter how much things have changed around you, is it really to be replaced with what would be to me a duller version of the feeling when you download something new to read?

To me, books aren’t a heavy weight or a paper-cut risk. They are real. You can run your fingers over the printed words, that slight scratch beneath your fingertips: the unique feel of paper. You can gaze at beautiful covers, while deciding whether or not to begin or continue, or to save the pleasure for a later time. You can take them down from your bookshelf and dust them off years later, to read to your friends, or children, or grandchildren your favourite lines.

They are comforting, books are.

There is comfort in opening a book. It’s like opening a door to a new place. You don’t know exactly what you’re going to find, but you’re eager to find out. And as you turn each page, sinking further into what you’re reading, all you see is what the writer has laid out for you. The lightness of the page and the darkness of the printed word are easily a front. A disguise. Hiding beneath it a glorious world of opportunity, of history, of tales of old and the creativity of the new. I don’t feel that reading from a laptop. The glare of the monitor and the sheer… coldness, interfere, reminding me that I am here, in the real world, sitting at my laptop reading things that could never be or already have been and shall not be again.

There is comfort in closing a book at the finish. A sadness, yes, for you feel almost like you’ve lost a friend, as the saying goes. However, there is the comfort in the finality. You know it’s over and now you are free to think, to ponder over what you’ve read as the back cover stares up at you, confirming its ending.

Books are warm. They are tender portals into all new planes, taking you gently by the hand and leading you down endless paths. They trap memories within their pages, so that every time you open that one book you’re taken back to the feelings and places you were at the time you first read it.

Technology has taken over a lot of things. It has made things easier and cheaper on one front, and harder and more expensive on another, but it has taken over. I just hope it doesn’t take over this as well, despite showing signs of it.

I truly believe it could never match up to all those feelings a lovely printed manuscript, with beautiful jackets that enclose magical pages, provokes.

Stream of Consciousness…

[Original post date unknown]

“It’s funny how things change.”

A cliche statement, but only because of how often it is used. One situation, status, quickly morphing into something completely unlike itself. It happens all too often, proving that Life, Fate, Circumstance… they are the true masters of happenings.

Do they toss a coin? Close their eyes and point?

No. Can’t be. Far too cunning. Far too much irony. Too much.. everything, for it to be a random thing, left to their friend: Chance.

They like spontaneity. Being unpredictable. Though sometimes they give clues to prepare you for what they have in store. Chance plays her part well, here. It is her element. Deciding whether or not you spot them.

They play carefully, strike suddenly. For the better here, for the worse there.

A game? No.

An art? Perhaps.

And undeniable fact. A truth that cannot be ignored. That is the true nature of this.

Change. Funny how it happens.

Funny how things change.

But not funny at all.

It is, after all, the only constant. It happens too often.

With cruelty. With kindness.

Alternating. Coming in all at once.

Good with bad. With more good.

So many possibilities. A choice you make and their plan alters instantly.

Funny? Not funny.

Beautiful. All kinds.

Even while lamenting now, in the end, when it’s over, when every feeling has been disconnected and discarded, it is seen, in it’s truest form. Beautiful. 
It passes. It all passes.
Beautiful.
 When you have overcome. Seen your strength. Your power. Beautiful.
When you make the choices that trigger their kindness. Beautiful.
When, at the end of it, you finally know who you are: Beautiful.

Yet still we say: “Funny how things change.”

No. Breathe. Breathe and whisper, “I am where I am meant to be. It shall pass.”

Change. Funny.

This was written on a whim. Straight from my thoughts, not a single word changed or rephrased. Although the paragraphing has been, as it was originally written line by line. I don’t know where it came from, but here it is.

Learning Experience

Sep 5th, 2010 1:26:00am

A few days ago, I was being yelled at by my little sister. (Yes, little sister. I am older and therefore not allowed to retaliate.) This is a common occurrence at home. We don’t exactly get along for the most part. On this particular occasion, she was yelling because she had washed several dishes – almost all, in fact – which is my job, and I hadn’t expressed a single word or look of gratitude.

I admit that at the time I wasn’t grateful. I was annoyed.  See, I am a “just-so” type of person, meaning I have a system of how I do things, and like to have them “just-so” (I bet you saw that coming). Besides, she had never washed dishes before, so I was sure she wouldn’t have washed them properly and I’d have to do them again anyways. I would have rather done it myself in the first place.

That got me thinking. How many of you prefer not letting anyone try something, simply because “you’d rather do it yourself”? How many of you don’t like giving someone a chance to attempt anything, because it was that someone’s first try and you thought they would make mistakes you would have to fix? I bet there’s loads of you, like me, who would be more annoyed than grateful. So, how many of you are getting in the way of someone’s learning experience?

Humans are such contradictory beings. We all know that part of learning is making mistakes, and that you never know if you don’t try, and that it’s good to attempt something new and different. Yet, when it comes right down to it, we are hesitant to allow it, because of that same knowledge: mistakes happen. And we don’t want to deal with them, even if it means that a person is going to benefit by learning something.
We confuse, delude and contradict other people and ourselves constantly. This being one of the several cases in which we do. What is so wrong about making honest mistakes?

Why is it so hard for us to let go enough to let others just… try? Even if it’s something as small as washing a few plates and cups? Why is it so hard to let people screw up, even it means you’d have to help clean up the mess?  If they gain something from it… experience, knowledge… then shouldn’t that be worth the trouble? They don’t even always make mistakes. Sometimes they find something they’re good at. Something they can easily do, and do well.

I wonder how many others have been kept from learning something, or were too afraid to try because of the response they would get. It makes me sad, knowing that there are probably so, so many. Because of our own hypocrisy. Because we didn’t give them the chance, and derided and refused them when they asked for one.

I realised all this while my sister slept. When she woke up, I thanked her. And in my heart, I apologised for being annoyed at what was simply a learning experience.

Oh and for the record: she did wash them properly.

Secrecy

Aug 25th, 2010 1:45:00am

This is [WordPress]. Over one billion posts by people from all walks of life. Some people blog purely to share the beautiful things they find. Some people blog for publicity (yes, we have celebrities on here too, although I’m sure they’re not all just doing it for that).

Some people blog to unleash their creativity upon the masses, hoping that someone out there will appreciate their work. And then, there are the people who blog for themselves. Who use [WP] as a journal for their thoughts, their feelings and their experiences. Things they want to let out.

I’ve heard people scoff and say, when for example they ask someone for their blog link, “If you don’t want people to read it then why are you posting it all over the internet for the world to see?”

The fact is it’s the people who are actually in our lives, people who we either don’t want them to know about our experiences, or are actually involved in them, they’re the ones we don’t want to read it. It’s a sort of relief, sharing a bit of yourself to complete strangers. They can’t judge you (although many, many will, unfortunately) because they don’t know you. They can’t force their own beliefs and judgements and opinions upon you, because they’re not in your lives, so their effect is limited. I’m not underestimating the power of words, but still. Being judged online by a complete stranger is different being judged by someone who is actually involved in your life.

There are so many people in the world. And it’s comforting sharing it with someone who can maybe relate to it, maybe offer a perspective the people in our lives can’t, maybe discover that they’re not as alone as they thought.  There’s also a sort of freedom. It’s like it’s now out there and it isn’t gnawing at you anymore, and you can breathe easier knowing that no matter what, it’s out there now. You can delete it anytime you want, but for now, it’s released.

I had a personal blog once. I deleted it ages ago, for several reasons, but I still remember that feeling of relief once I got things off my chest and just tossed it out for the world (okay, my followers, none of whom I had known in real life) to see. It was wonderful. It was therapy.

Here’s the opposite. It’s slightly masochistic, I suppose, but also comforting in a way. Holding back and keeping quiet. Not only because you don’t know how to word it in the first place, but because it’s familiar in its safety. No one knows. It’s like your little secret, hidden and only explored at the times where there’s no activity to distract you, outwardly appearing to be staring at the ceiling, while poking and prodding and pondering and wondering on the inside. It’s almost fun, seeing how far you can go before you snap and tell someone, do something, say something, release it, share it.

How many of you have done this? Either before getting a blog, or still, now, today, this very moment perhaps, clutching to your heart something you can’t bring yourself to release, either not knowing what it is, or knowing and keeping it close regardless? A dark secret that keeps you up at night, maybe, or a feeling you just can’t describe? Something you want to speak out loud, but just can’t? I’d like to know. What are you not saying?

Your secret’s safe with me.

The Wisdom of Youth

Jul 18th, 2010 12:43:00am

When I was 11, I wrote a story. The plot and writing were quite terrible, really, but back then it was my pride and joy. A plain single-lined notebook was its home, in my best handwriting at the time, and a little picture was carefully drawn at the end of each chapter. I wrote in it whenever I could, excited as I watched the story unfold beneath my own hand, coming to life on the pages. And when I finished it, I was oh-so-proud and couldn’t wait to show it off.

The point of that little snippet? Well, read that last line again: “…I finished it…” It was the first and last time I did.

I have written since, of course. Stories of all kinds but all with one thing in common: they put the “short” in “short stories”, some even being no more than a few paragraphs long. And I have started stories. Stories that I hoped to convert to novels, or at least to something longer than my usual writing. However, I have always surrendered just a few chapters in, and have yet to recapture the enthusiasm I had felt more than 6 years ago…

This, I attribute to growing up.

When we are young, our lives are more filled with wonder. There is more joy in every new discovery, more imagination in every aspect of life. Ordinary concrete floors are rivers of lava. Trees are mountains to climb high and plant one’s flag in victory. Cardboard boxes are trains, cars, castles or forts. And almost everything we do is an adventure. It’s exciting.

When we grow up, however, many of us lose that. The real world reveals itself to us in all its harshness and cold reality, and the exuberant times of our youth fade away as we take on more responsibility, more duties, more activities better suited to our age. Our excitement about life disappears, or does not last for long, as doubts, procrastination and people bringing you back down to earth interfere.

Why is that? Why is it that when we grow, we lose faith in innocence and fall into the trap so many people before us have? Cynicism, negativity, lack of enthusiasm and just sticking to the things you have to do rather than that which makes you happy. Or abandoning the path you had once so gladly taken as faith gives way to doubt, and “reality” calls you back from your dreams.

Let me tell you something. It took me three days just to get this far in this column. Three days ago I started it. Two days ago I started it again. And since then I have written no more than a few lines. In fact, what I have been writing now, which started from the last two lines of the fifth paragraph, is the longest thus far that I have committed myself to it. I started it gladly, excited to be writing again. But, inevitably, it faded away.

Now that I am writing, I can feel a glimmer of what had got me starting this column in the first place, but not as strong as during those first few lines, and apparently not strong enough to get me back to writing it whenever I have to stop. Ironic, considering the topic, but simultaneously helpful in making my point.

Not everyone loses it. That feeling of stimulation and thrill that used to be our driving force. They cherish it and keep it close, because they know that kids’ attitude about life is something to be retained, not something to grow out of. It is wiser than how most teenagers and adults act now. And if it is combined with the enhanced wisdom and knowledge that comes to us as we grow, the possibilities of what we can accomplish are endless, simply because we believe it, and we have the determination and knowledge to achieve it.

I wish I knew where that notebook had gone. I wish I had kept it safer, to remind me of how I felt when writing that story, when finishing it. Of how passionate and enthusiastic I was.

The energy, exuberance, excitement of childhood…

I miss it.

What makes a manager’s job more important than a janitor’s?

Why do people who go to work in the comfort of offices look down on people who have to work outside no matter the weather?

What is it about people working in the service industry that gives you the right to treat them like crap?

What is it that makes one person’s job superior to someone else’s? Is it because they get paid better? Because their job is considered ‘important’ in society?

Let me ask you. If no one ever collected the garbage because they were busy working in jobs you consider to be better, wouldn’t your bins be overflowing pretty fast?

If there were no construction workers, wouldn’t there be severe shortage of housing?
No plumbers? What would happen if your sink got clogged or your toilet overflowed?
What if there were no janitors or maids to clean up your messes? Buildings and schools would get pretty dirty, wouldn’t they?

No gardeners? Weeds, ugly, un-mowed lawns.

No secretaries? More workload for you because you have to keep all your paperwork in order, answer every call including the ones you’d want to avoid.

I find it strange how one line of work is considered demeaning while another is considered ‘high-profile.’

People from every stature and every line of work are necessary for our lives to function properly, easily. Without one, the other suffers. Just because they’re paid less, that doesn’t mean they work less hard than you or that you’re above them in any way. Most times, in fact probably all of the time, they are the ones who work the hardest, in the muck and grime no one else is willing to handle and dealing with people who think they’re better than them.

So next time you think to jibe at someone who’s job seems ‘low’, think of what it would be like if they weren’t out there doing it.

And appreciate them instead of looking at them like they’re the dirt beneath your shoes.

Creativity… What is it?

Jun 21st, 2010 11:38:00pm

I’m serious. Have you ever thought about it? First of all, what makes “Creativity” and “Logic” two so distinctly separate things, even though they seem to come from the same place: the mind? What makes us think of the former as something vibrant and colourful, while at the same time evoking the image of cold, reasoned calculations for the latter?

Let’s look at them one at time:

Logic: “a particular method of reasoning or argumentation” or “reason or sound judgment, as in utterances or actions”.

I know not if it’s just me but that sounds… Boring. Necessary, of course. It’s always necessary to have one’s wits about them, and to be able to make a sound decision you will not later regret. However – and again, I present to you my opinion alone – logic has such a lacklustre sound to it. It deals with facts and well-stated theories alone. No room for the new and un-experimented, only the old and the sure.

It feels, to me, that logic has not an open mind. It is comfortable with that with which it is familiar. Things that are tangible. It sees only what is right in front of it. A cup is a cup. A painting with nothing but blue splotches (ANT154 by Yves Klein) is exactly as it looks: like a child had fun with blue paint. There’s no looking deeper because logic believes there is no need to. It is what it is simply because. If it deigns to ask why, it is only because it knows there were a series of steps, each equally logical and sensible, that led to the result.

Again, I have nothing against it. Logic is necessary, lest we find ourselves in a number of probably horrid situations. Logic tells us it’s stupid to touch a hot plate with our bare hands. Logic tells us it’s dangerous to walk alone down an isolated-looking alleyway in the middle of the night. Logic tells us that it’s best to pay off one credit card first before applying for another. Or, more logically, not to get a credit card at all.

Logic deals with the facts as they come, processes them, and produces an answer.

Then comes creativity…

From the very name we can see the difference between it and logic. Creativity: “Having the ability or power to create” or “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.”

Logic uses facts that have probably been around for eons. Creativity creates new ones.
That’s what it is. It is the new. Creativity is spontaneous, exciting, always different. Even if it employs old ideas, it puts a new spin on it. Creativity is the ability, the power, the talent, the gift, to make something out of seemingly nothing. Sure, you have the tools. A painter has the canvas, the easel, the paint and brushes. A writer has the pen and paper. A sculptor has the chisel and material of his choice (stone, wood, metal…). Those are your tools, yes. But what you use them for, what you create with them, that is from scratch. From nothing but a thought.

“Thought.” Gives the impression that both creativity and logic come from the mind, do they not?

Where are all your facts processed?

The mind.

Where do all your thoughts come from?

Yes, the mind.

You are forgetting something, though. What makes the painter paint, the writer write, and the sculptor sculpt? It’s hard work. It takes a lot of time and effort and – to employ that old phrase – blood, sweat and tears.

The answer is passion.

When someone is passionate about something, they pursue it. If they don’t, they certainly should. Creativity in a field comes from the passion for that field. The excitement of thinking up the new. The pride in staring at your finished work, knowing there is no other like it, nor will there ever be, because it is yours. Your idea, your effort that made it happen. Your hands made it come to be.

So where does that passion come from?

The heart.

Logic and Creativity are two complete opposites, but both necessary for survival. Without Logic our ability to think for ourselves is pointless. Without Creativity we would never move forward or evolve.

Without Logic we lose what distinguishes us from the animals out in the wild.

Without Creativity we lose what makes us human.

Think about it.

Desire to Be

Feb 22nd, 2010 3:19:00am

In slightly less than twenty four hours, I have finished two books by the same author: Paulo Coelho’s Like the Flowing River and Veronika Decides to Die. After first reading The Alchemist, I had become a great fan of his writing, because I felt it spoke to me in a way that was deep, profound and understanding of the inner psyche of man. Of me.

The effect his books have on me are quite unlike anything else I have ever experienced while reading. I have enjoyed books. Some have made me think. Others were simply read for pleasure and a desire to escape into a world that was not my own. But his work resonates within me. He has formed characters in such a way that anyone can read and feel the book was written about them, simply because his unflinching insight into the general thoughts and desires everyone experiences is shared through his writing.

However, I have decided not to read his books any longer.

This may seem a strange decision. Did I not just describe the way his books spoke to me? So I shall explain.

The effect his books have is unlike any other, because it inspires me. Ideas flow faster through my mind, sometimes to the point that I have yet to register the thought before moving on to the next one. I feel inspired, invigourated, ready for a challenge, an experience. Something new.

Still not making sense?

The thing is, after reading his writing, I am filled with the intense desire to do something crazy. Something mad, something unexpected. Something that I want to do, rather than all the things that I have to do. I want to run. I want to write. I want to go insane and unleash myself unto the world. I want to stop wasting my time with learning things I know will never serve me later on and learn only what I am interested in. I want to express myself to the people who look at me and show me the doubts they have about who I am, ever-present in their eyes.

I want to show the world myself. Every aspect. I want to go against the rules society has imposed upon us, that we blindly follow despite knowing that they are useless. I want to be against the general consensus and I want to live.

But this is a dangerous desire. Dangerous because it will drive me to insanity. I know it will.

And it will drive me to insanity because I know I do not yet have the freedom nor the courage to do these things. I am old enough to know what I want, but I am young enough to be forced into submission. And my heart, despite yearning to be free, has many years to wait before it can be.

And that is why I can not read his work any longer. Because the feeling they incur in me will drive me to a madness and frustration that I will not be able to bear. The desire has always been there in my heart, a small flame, but his work makes it a roaring blaze, and I fear that it will burn my heart to cinders if I allow it to be that intense for long.

I can not feel this yet.

Who else is out there? Who else, like me, wants escape, but is not yet able to do so? Who else can not yet be? Who else is yet to overcome the restrictions of family and society? Who else is not ready to disappoint them? Who else is also restricted by age, because independence is still years away?

There has only been one period in my life that I did not feel completely frustrated with the things I can not do. Only once that I felt that freedom I craved. Freedom to be myself with no secrets and no restrictions. Only once that I did not feel completely restless and perfectly content with where I was in those moments. But that is another story. Perhaps one never meant to be told. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I carefully nurture the flame of desire, but avoid letting it get too strong, until a time when I can unleash it in all it’s glory, and satisfy it completely and without regret.