Filling Up The Silence

Posted on 15 Aug 2017 under Journal/Life Updates

Recommended background music: Sun Araw – “Horse Steppin”

Most times, solitude is a blessing. I am a man in love with my own company, and would gladly enjoy it for extended stretches. Consequently, I am comfortable with long silences and with the only conversation being with the voices in my head.

But I do love music. I love it because it doesn’t merely fill up silences, but also because it has the power to demand your attention, to make conversation insignificant and unwanted, to put your thoughts on hold and just exist in this experience of sonic waves. It’s why I’ve always been more attracted to music than to songs, why I remember Hammett and Hetfield’s riffs, and not their lyrics, why some of my favourite music is instrumental. I’m drawn to the twinge of a guitar note, or to the harmony between two instruments playing with each other in perfect rhythm (or imperfect, to make it more interesting).

But every now and then, music does serve another purpose. To fill up the silence. Even if it’s an eleven minute track of repetition with vague instruments. Even in its utter simplicity, the least that any good music offers me is rhythm, a metronomic pattern is calming and feels like it brings order to life.

 

Cynical

Posted on 04 Aug 2017 under Random

The other day, I offered my card to pay for a colleague’s farewell party, for a group of ~30 people. By policy, we’re allowed to reimburse the food expenses, but not alcohol (kind of makes sense, I suppose … should your organization sponsor your getting drunk? Maybe once in a while? I don’t know … that’s for another post, perhaps). This means I gotta collect the drinks expenses from colleagues.

Which, you can imagine, is not a joyride, particularly for someone like me who doesn’t like asking people for the money they owe me. So, someone said “Your own fault! Why did you have to offer up your card like you’ve got a lot of money?”

Similarly, I trusted someone (a close friend) with some confidential information that they unfortunately revealed without realizing the implications.

Again, I was told it’s my fault for trusting them.

Whaaa?

I don’t get it. In both cases, how am I at fault? In the former, I made it easier for people by paying at the bar. If anything, I should be thanked! In the latter, I trusted a friend, who made a mistake.

Tell me again why I shouldn’t be cynical about the world.

 

Moth

Posted on 28 Jun 2017 under Journal/Life Updates

I do so much of my writing on days when it rains that it’s almost a bloody cliché. Seriously, how many of my posts start with descriptions of the rain outside the window, or on the windscreen of the car as I drive at snail’s pace on the way to home or office (yuck).

I don’t want to say that the weather is my muse, because that’s an oversimplification. I don’t know what my muse is, I just know that sometimes I have to write. And today is one of those days.

I’ve struggled with the words, because it’s been a while. I’ve struggled with the words because I don’t know how to say the things I think, I don’t even understand some of these thoughts I’m trying to convert from abstraction to tangibility.

Vaguely, I feel the formation of a metaphor, something about how I’m most alive when the darkness of black clouds darkens the world. I’ve mostly lived in the shadows, emerging for a few hours at a time to sing and dance for the world, and then I retreat again. I barely invite anyone into my cozy private corner where I can ruminate about my scars and imperfections, obsess over them without interruption and grow despondent in peace.

Yet, you’ve changed me. You’ve infiltrated my world, you’ve cast a different light on the way I see myself and everyone else, you’ve changed the way I do things. I’ve done things I’d never have done had it not been for you. And I began to let you in. And the more I let you in, the more I lowered my guard, the more I set myself up for the eventual pain and heartbreak that always comes. And it’s not because of you, it’s because of me. And I let you in anyway.

I let you in so much that you’ve permeated my existence. Everything I do, I weigh up to you and your approval. I compare my mistakes to your near-perfection. All you need to remind me of the burden of my insecurities is to exist. And it isn’t bloody fair. To you. But it’s what it is. And you shine brighter than anyone I’ve met before. The light of your flame changes the way I see the world. But I’m a moth, and I don’t know if I can fly around your fire any more.

 

Some Old(ish?) music.

Posted on 15 Jun 2017 under Journal/Life Updates

Here are a few songs to remember your childhood:

Eye Opener

Posted on 18 Mar 2017 under Journal/Life Updates

Recommended background music – Dot Hacker – Eye Opener

In the darkness, it’s easier to see you, peeking out from the shadows of my memories. I let this music envelop me in its familiar embrace, lulling me into a sense of peaceful solitude. For 5 minutes and 24 seconds, the gently beating drum-beat, the lazy guitar, the vulnerable vocals, they make me feel like I am ready to fall apart, to cease to exist, to wither and crumble into dust, to float away like grains of sand carried away by a gentle breeze.

Does that secret handshake include me?
And you, are you a part of me?

You are.

The bridges I’ve burned lie behind me, warming my back with a sadly comforting glow that casts a shadow on the path ahead. Every step I take reminds me that I’m walking blind, and I’m not sure where I’m going or how to get there.

Yet, the darkness makes it easier to see you, lying there behind my eyes.

 

Late Night Disjointed Thoughts

Posted on 01 Feb 2017 under Random

The toll of midnight is but a few minutes away. The song loops on repeat. That stuttering, rhythmic beat goes well with the mood. We are barely out of winter, and already I feel summer creeping up, uninvited, sneaking in through the sweat I wake up in in the morning, in the warmth my thigh feels against my foot as I sit cross-legged in this bed, waiting for nothing to happen.

I look forward to the few hours of sleep.

Sleep … it’s like a lover with a  roofie. I look forward to the night, but the night goes by too soon, and when the morning arrives, I barely remember that I slept through the night, because it’s time to wake up, to get up and go to work, drive to the client’s office, take an interview or two, wishing I was somewhere else.

How nice it’d be to get away from everything. If I could find the courage to pack up and go, without telling anyone, to some place I’ve never been, find adventure or let it find me, find an answer (or a question), would I do it?

Maybe I’m not meant for it.

I used to think I’m insignificant and that the world will go existing after I’m done. With the events that have transpired globally, I wonder if I’ll outlive the world.

 

Expectations

Posted on 27 Jan 2017 under Journal/Life Updates

Quite some time back, I was told (or I read somewhere) that the best way to live your life is to have no expectations from life. Because the world owes you nothing. You did something nice for someone? Good for you, but that doesn’t mean something nice is going to happen to you in return. Perhaps everything that happens is a random act, and we get lucky (or unlucky) in what happens to us.

It’s horrible advice, because it’s no way to live. You trust your friends, you expect something (what a wonderful word that is … comes to the rescue of the average writer so frequently) from the people you love.

It’s also good advice, in a way. It means you’ll never be disappointed, because if you have zero expectations, the worst case scenario is that your expectations are met. Anything above that means your expectations have been exceeded.

But whatever kind of advice it is, it begs a question.

If I have no expectations from the world, then should the world have any expectations from me? If the world owes me nothing, then what do I owe the world? Why should I bother about anything? What difference will I make? More pertinently, what difference should I make?

I know this is a very cynical way of looking at things, and my intention with this post is in no way to encourage apathy and inaction. The world changes only because people care, and consequently, some of them act. Maybe, then, the only way to live is to expect. Yes, there will be the occasional disappointment, but c’est la vie.

 

Random Crappy Post

Posted on 21 Dec 2016 under Random

Been a while since I’ve listened to this song. The echoes of what I think is the guitar against a seemingly hollow vacuum. It reminds me of night, those nights. The details are hazy, like a lot of things from that time. We forget the details of our past and remember only some parts of it, those embellished by nostalgia.

I can’t even write properly. Feels like thoughts are incomplete in my head. Like these orphan sentences shouldn’t have been born at all.

I feel like this strange music is like a death-knell.

——

“Blue” (APC)

Resonance

Posted on 24 Nov 2016 under Journal/Life Updates

Does music enhance emotions or create them? I’ve had it do both at one time or another, but I don’t know have a definite answer to that question.

That being said, what I’ve experienced very frequently is that music greatly enhances the mood I’m in, especially when that mood is joyous (for lack of a better word) and the music is uplifting and pacy.

< Abruptly ending post because I lost my train of thought 🙁 >

Is Life Worth Living?

Posted on 21 Oct 2016 under Journal/Life Updates

As human beings, I believe we are programmed to exist, to survive against whatever life throws at us.

I was speaking to a friend of mine yesterday about the magic of music, and how I try not to judge others’ taste in music because I’ve seen others take as much enjoyment out of music I dislike as I do out of music I love. So who am I to judge, eh?

At some point, I think I made the hyperbolic statement, “I can’t live without music.”

Obviously, this is not literally true. Like I said, I believe human beings are programmed to survive. Heck, forget music. People have learnt to live without without far more important things in life — limbs, food, water … common sense, even. So, yes, you can (or rather, I can) live without music and without a lot of things.

But I suppose the question I’d ask is … would you want to?

What is it in life, losing which would make you wonder whether it’s worth being alive? I argue that for some musicians, whose life is their music, being unable to hear music or make music might give them cause to give up on life. I argue that for some sportspeople, retirement from the sport that was their life causes them to lose their sanity (I remember reading about footballers who, after retirement, took up a life of booze and drugs and died early and alone). And so, I suppose, to each his own.

As for me, I’m listening to old Offspring albums after a very long time, and I’m in love again.