004 – Words

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↠ Dispatch 004, December 2018 ↞

Words


Hello you. For the past few years, I’ve always written a public reflection post either on my blog or on social media to commemorate my birthday. I would often write to look back on what has unfolded, and then attempt to articulate my hopes for the coming year. However this year, the post was written and stayed in my journal. 

What has unfolded in 2018 has been too momentous and too pivotal that to attempt to share anything before it has been given time to unpack itself would be unfair to life itself.  The story will be written when the words are ready, but for now, the only words that is adequate to capture what I’ve been through would be those of Albert Camus:

“In the depths of winter, I finally learn that within me,
there lay an invincible summer.” 

Moving over to totally unrelated news…

Over the past month, I’ve been trying my best to spend less time reading online articles and social media posts, and use it to catch up on my ever-growing list of to-read full-length books. 

In November, I finished Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief Hstory of Humankind, and it is one of those books that have left me feeling more aware of my ignorance, and at the same time feel a little bit smarter. As Yuval guided me along the journey of our human race, he offered a macro view of our shared history, contextualises these milestones and shifts, and then ends it by suggesting how we might just be a blip in time but one that could be on the cusp of a monumental revolution. It’s a provocative read that offers a different perspective about our human species.

With that back on the shelf, I’ve now got a stack of books that I hope to read: Joel Kotkin’s The City: A Global History; Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat; Michelle Obama’s Becoming; Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore; and Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars. That’s just the list of books I bought in the last two months! Do you have a problem of buying books and never actually reading it? Also, if I may dare ask, are there books that you think I should be reading? 

As we’re talking about reading, I just want to share that I’ve always admired Bill Gates’ book reviews on GatesNotes and Roxanne Gay’s growing list of reviews on Goodreads. On some days, a small part of me wonders if I should attempt to write short reviews as a way to become a better reader in 2019. 

And as we consider plans for the coming year…

I haven’t got any. I’m planning to roll with the waves, and go wherever the wind blows. However, as I try to be fully present for what is here, I occasionally find myself starved of any motivation for the future. It feels like a conflicting paradox: to be in the now and not live in the future, but also to have plans and visions of the future so that the now has meaning and purpose. Is it just me or do you ever feel the same way? Please send your thoughts on this if you have any.

That’s all I have for now. As I close this 2018 series, I wish that you have a good end to the year, and and I hope my words will meet you again in 2019. Till then, be well.


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