I Hate Diaries

As a youngster, I thought keeping a diary was cool. Popular and mainstream and the in thing to do. A thought perpetuated by mainstream media and the agony of trying to decipher an identity for myself.

As a youngster, keeping a diary made me a fool. Invasive and disastrous are less words to describe, the horror one gets when others read your entries and use them as blackmail to curtail your behavior.

As a teen, I swore off all manner of bookkeeping. Of writing experience and chronicling every day incidents, choosing instead to keep in mind what was important and flushing out what was not.

As a teen, mistakes were plentiful, and red was the color of my ink. Demons would come for dinner, down the whole bottle of wine and speak whispers of memories, I thought I forgotten.

As an adult, I abhor such manner of writing. As if you decide that creating a paper trail of evidence of your life would add value to your seemingly incredible life experiences.

As an adult, your diary is fodder. For when old aunties come visiting at festivals, and instead of cake and tea; you place a book and invite them to dine on the juicy elements of your delicate being.

I hate diaries.

Only because, I rather that my inner world be kept away. It’s private.

Only because, it’s simpler to hide thoughts than a book within your bedroom.

Only because, those that know me, know me and not what I think of me.

Only because, parents should talk to their children and not read their diaries.

I hate diaries yet I keep a diary, of sorts.

Diaries in all instances are trigger objects.

Objects that conjure up a spectral of memory. A ghost from the past that haunts you; either malevolent or benevolent. It waits in ambush, in the dark crevices of your soul.

Objects that force reminiscent emotions to plague your thoughts with ‘What if’ even though you know, you can never change your actions of yesterdays.

Objects that mark milestones in life. The first love, first kiss, first argument, first breakup. And the first thoughts of how utterly stupid we are when perfect vision is only through the window of hindsight.

So I kept other things as trigger objects.

‘Memento Mori’, inked to remind me that nothing is permanent.

The Chinese words ‘Kind-hearted’, ‘Fearless’ and ‘Persistent’, are etched along my backbone. Words to prop up my character, personality and mannerisms.

Tribal symbols on my body, to remind me of my heritage. That I may stand visible in the after-life among my ancestors.

I hate diaries, the book that others can read.

But spend time with me and I may allow you to read me like a book. And I will tell you stories, no mere mortals can pen.

THE END

Article: Sibu voters roar, BN whimpers

They were not against 1Malaysia or the Prime Minister. In fact he was a favorite of Sibuans. It was not the federal government (in general) that they did not favour, the state authority  and specifically its head, Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. This was a feeling strongly held among voters, both in urban Sibu and rural Sibu.

Full Article: Sibu voters roar, BN whimpers.

Change is coming to Malaysia

I normally don’t want to talk about politics on this blog and reserve it for my articles at FreeMalaysiaToday.net, but I can’t help in commenting about the Sibu by-election and the slim win by the opposition party, DAP.

I got a text message at 9.30pm, yesterday evening, that DAP was leading. I had known since 1.30pm that they were in the lead after the rural votes were tallied. With my friend’s text at 9.30pm, I knew then that a half miracle had happened. The opposition DAP had won in a city which, for all it seems, was going in favor to the ruling government – Barisan Nasional (National Front).

And as expected, not much is commented about this win in the main-stream media. A small mentioned in The Star Online and a whisper in The New Straits Times. After a week of lop-sided coverage, news of the results going against the establishment is relegated to obituary status. This is the mind-set of news-reporting in Malaysia. News reports should always polish up the standings of the current government.

I’m in a way, happy for the results of the Sibu by-election. It shows that the Malaysian public is waking up and deciding for themselves who they want in parliament.

Free Malaysia Today Article: Money talks when Sibu votes

Though modern democracy gives the say to the majority, as stated by a prominent politician, in reality only a small number of parliamentarians have a say on how to govern, administer and shepherd close to 27 million Malaysians. The voice of the majority has, in effect, been drowned out by the minority who sit in the Dewan Rakyat and often argue every which way over nothing.

Article: Money Talks When Sibu Votes.

My first commentary concerning an up-coming by-election.

Motivation to work, it’s not about the money

I learnt something new today while reading through Lifehacker.com. After reading the below article, I have started to evaluate what has been keeping me doing the same job for the pass 11 years.

At a high level, SDT makes a simple claim:

“To be happy, your work must fulfill three universal psychological needs: autonomy,competence, and relatedness.”

In more detail…

  • Autonomy refers to control over how you fill your time. As Deci puts it, if you have a high degree of autonomy, then “you endorse [your] actions at the highest level of reflection.”
  • Competence refers to mastering unambiguously useful things. As the psychologist Robert White opines, in the wonderfully formal speak of the 1950s academic, humans have a “propensity to have an effect on the environment as well as to attain valued outcomes within it.”
  • Relatedness refers to a feeling of connection to others. As Deci pithily summarizes: “to love and care, and to be loved and cared for.”

Article:Beyond Passion: The Science of Loving What You Do

Only when I shift into my writing mode do I truly feel the presence of the three factors above. Does this mean I should consider quitting the job I am doing now to fully pursue a life of writing? I am really not sure, but it would really give me the chance to be autonomous. Yet, in Malaysia being a full-time writer does not pay the bills. It’s really a bummer.

I really do not want to be caught in the rut where I work for the money. Instead, I want to enjoy doing something that fires me up, which pays me well for that passion and allows me to be content with who I am (work-wise).

What motivates you to do your work?

Short Story : The Silent Whisper

The Silent Whisper
by Maclean Patrick

The heat woke him up. It was 3 in the morning, not a good time to wake up for it will take him close to forever to go back to sleep. In this heat, it was better he stayed awake until dawn. But staying awake was not something he looked forward to.

Sitting up, he looked out the window. The city lights glowed in the horizon. There was still life at this hour, still people going about their business within the graveyard hour.

Midnight did not scare him. But 3am did.

It was the hour the Whispers came out. And as he wiped the sweat from his brow, he heard a whisper.

“Awake. You’re awake.”

He cup his hands over his ears. Closed his eyes and asked the heavens to spare him from the pain of entertaining this unwelcome visitor.

“No point hiding. You can hear me,” she said, her breath; cold against the back of his ear. “Do you have an answer for me?”

He bent over, head touching his knees as he sat; rocking slowly on his mattress.

“Go away,” he managed a weak protest.

“What is your answer?”

“Go away.”

“Answer me..”

“Go away.”

“You PROMISED me an answer tonight,” her chilly lips hovering closely over his fore-head.

She was bolder now. Invading what little private space he had left in his personal bubble. More demanding, more forceful in her request and she was not one to take “No” for an answer. Yet, tonight he had, had enough.

“No,” he finally spoke up.

“What?”

“No,” he lowered his trembling hands, his eyes still close. “My answer is no.”

“Don’t you want release?”

“Yes, but not like this.”

“Just take my offer.”

He shook his head from side to side as his rocking continued. He could feel her, just in front of him, watching him move, waiting for his reply.

“Yes, I am hurting. And everyday is another day of heart-ache and misery. And I’m barely coping from breath to breath. But dum spiro, spero. I’m still breathing, I’m still hoping. If you take me, it will not be like this. I’ll let destiny take me, fate set the clock. Sorry, but you just have to wait.”

There was a silent whisper. A word spoken, yet unheard. He felt her breath as she mouthed a phrase that went pass him and then she was no more. Gone into the night and he knew he was alone, again, in the room.

He cried.

It was 3am, the darkest time of the night and the silent form was returning empty-handed. Her colleagues had more luck. Returning with the Damned. Returning with those whom had replied, “Yes.” They lifted the wretched souls like ragged dolls, jeering at her for she had nothing in hand. She snarled back at them, “I’ll have him. It’s just a matter of time. He’ll break and I’ll bring him back with me. Death always wins in the end.”

Free Malaysia Today Article: The old war cannon: a tale of love and honour

I commented on the need for our leaders to put civic duty above all other things while in office.

This is a tale I would be honoured to help to write. A tale of love, honour and family wrought by an object forged for war and destruction. A tale for our times, that Malaysians must turn our instruments of conflict into weapons of peace and solidarity.

Full article: The old war cannon: a tale of love and honour.