Irrelevant: Between what is more important and Less Important at a Given Time

Source: Irrelevant

When I have begun this Much to Tell About Nothing Blog in the beginning of this year, I was in the middle of writing my research project. This particular research project was conducted and written within the trajectory of a master’s degree in humanities that I have recently finished. Discussing the object of that particular research project in detail or to specify the program in which it has been written is not the intention of this particular blog entry. It is, after all, not my intention, and will never be my intention, to bore the readers with details. Perhaps I will do that in other post in the near future. But for now, they are just details and details are, more often than not, irrelevant.

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Dense: The Tree I See When Sitting behind the Desk 

Source: Dense

It is quite unfortunate that I do not name the name of this tree in front of my window when I admire its beauty so much. This tree is never static. It constantly changes its appearance throughout the year as if it is following a strict protocol. Today, it stems are thick with white small flowers. Soon, the flowers will be all blown by the wind and will be replaced green leaves. It will be dense in leaves as it is dense in flowers today. The photograph below is a photograph of the same tree taken very recently, 30 days ago to be exact. Look how it changed and transformed in just a short period of time.

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Bicycle Lane: The Road Taken and Taking Everyday

Show us something that surprised or delighted you on “the road taken.”

Source: The Road Taken

bicycle-lane

I am on my way to the university that day. I have to meet my research adviser to discuss the status of the project I am currently conducting. Most of the time, I take my bike when I need to go somewhere. I do not have a car. I do not even have a licence to drive. I do not even know how to drive. That does not matter. I do not really find driving a motor vehicle that exciting like most people I know. Driving is not a priority especially when it is too expensive to obtain a licence and to own a car. Furthermore, the public transport system and the short distances in where I live make cars somehow superfluous. Instead, I always take my bike or sometimes walk. The bicycle lane is not a road I have taken, but the road I regularly take. Without it, I would have never have dared to bike at all.

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Rhythmic: Writing and Singing

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.

Source: Rhythmic

poggio

It is a common knowledge that before the invention of the printing press, monks across various monasteries in Europe copied the books such us the holy scriptures manually through a technique called calligraphy. It has been suggested that while they were copying the books, they were also singing. The rhythm of the songs they were singing has also affected the rhythm of their writing as if they were dancing with the motion of their hands according to tune of the song being sung. The rhythmic movements of their hands were in synchronize with rhythmic counts of the song they were singing. Sometimes when I write on my journal, I also listen to Gregorian Chants, so that I could determine the accuracy of such claims. The chants have indeed determined the phase of my hand writing.

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A Good Match: Pen and Paper

This week, share a photo of things that complement each other.

Source: A Good Match

a-good-combination

What can be more traditional and mundane of a combination than a paper and pen. Among many other things, they have formidable partnership in expressing ourselves or just merely organizing our thoughts. What fascinates me is that while the digital age has made the typewriter archaic and obsolete, pens and papers are still important tools even now that our lives are becoming more and more governed by technology. Pen and paper makes conceptual ideas more tangible and more concrete. They can also make words more permanent.

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Recognize the Unfamiliar

Source: Recognize

At first glance, to be familiar with something or someone is a prerequisite for recognition. We recognize those who are familiar to us. After all, how can we recognize something when we do not have a reference to our prior knowledge? At the same time, we do not really recognize normality do we? We are not aware when things are well and normal, but we are very conscious when things deviate from the norm. We recognize our body when there is something wrong with it. For example, I am not really conscious about my teeth when they do not hurt. When I have a tooth ache, that is the only time I can feel my teeth and recognize not only the pain itself, but also where the pain is coming from.

All anomalies are also recognizable. We recognize them because they are not like everybody else or everything. They stand out. It is precisely because they are different that we tend to recognize them. We tend to look at them in such a way that they become the object of our gaze and reduced them to preconceived stereotypes we have ascribed to them.

To recognize those who do not fit the pattern is easy. It is even an impulse some might say. We recognize those who deviates from the pattern without even trying or thinking about it. While it is easy to recognize those who are outside the orthodox straight forward structure, it is quite difficult to acknowledge their existence. To be tolerated is absolutely not the same with acceptance. To be recognized does not really equate with being acknowledged.

 

Overwhelming: When we think we are out of our depths 

Source: Overwhelming

At the time of writing, I am in the middle of writing my research project. Writing a research project can be a task so overwhelming and a prospect so daunting. I was overwhelmed even before I have started writing the research proposal and I am sill overwhelmed today even I am already in the middle of writing it. I have even tried to delayed the inevitable and wasted a lot of time in the past, because I was so scared to even begin.

Each day, I sit behind my desk and my computer is the first thing I turn-on in the morning. It is also the last equipment I turn-off late at night. In some days, the ideas are clear and the words are not elusive. But in most cases, I struggle to even grasp the and conceive the ideas let alone to form the words that would express it. This is particularly difficult especially for somebody like myself whose English is not the mother tongue. It even sometimes hurt to read what I have written because it shows how incompetent I am. It really does hurt.

When ideas come, they come all at the same time, but they come incoherently. Imagine pieces of jigsaw puzzle are poured on your desk. Each piece represents an idea and you must arrange them together to make a coherent narrative. That is not as easy as it sounds. It could be very frustrating. Then there is the debate within yourselves where you scrutinize the things you have said before.

Sometimes I feel that I am of my depths. I am overwhelmed by the task ahead. Sometimes, when I am sitting behind my desk and the words do not come around, I feel agitated. I get stressed and the stress manifest in my body. I get dizzy, I feel the change in my heartbeat as it goes faster, I get this pain in my lower back, sometimes I could not even breath. I want to cry, I want to scream, I even want to smash the computer.

Some of my friends have advised me that when the words and ideas are elusive, I should not stress myself so much. I should try to do something else and try to relax. Instead of writing, try to read texts that are relevant to the topic I am writing or perhaps have a long walk. That does not work for me, because it is precisely when the words and ideas are elusive that I am more determined to grasp them. I cannot help it. And when I have finally grasp them or at least think to be grasping them, I get this sense of fulfilment, so cathartic.

When all things said and done, one should not refuse to acknowledge that it is precisely because we are so overwhelmed by the task bigger than ourselves that makes such task worth fulfilling. If what we do is so easy, then where is the challenge in that? I think that it is only when we are doing something slightly above our depths that we can really discover our talents and able to reach the full potential of our lives. Imagine the gratification we will eventually get when we have finally delivered the promise we thought at first that we were not equipped to deliver in the first place.

The whole idea is to engage oneself in a project that are slightly above one’s self. It is quite gratifying to finally be able to successfully fulfil a task that we are not quite sure we are going to succeed. Being overwhelmed by something is therefore not necessarily a bad thing as long as it is within reasons. By within reason I mean that while you are quite sure that you will not fail, you are also not very sure if you would really succeed. Besides, I love writing. Not being a good writer does not make me love writing any less.

When we write, we find ourselves in a transcendental space. That space is neither here nor there while at the same time, being everywhere and simultaneously nowhere.