Why, why do I bother writing these blogs? I would often find myself asking. Why is it so much fun? (even with the meagre clicks that I get) Why is it so fulfilling?
I have conjured up an Arendtian answer:
To post these blogs—although this may sound absurdly grandiose—is a venture into the public realm. It is a form of action: Action consist of words and deeds. Words reveal, whereas deeds start new processes. The thrill in me posting, and the fear in it, lies in the revelatory character of words. To reveal oneself to others is at once to feel not-so-alone in the world, but also to feel incredibly vulnerable. I stopped posting during the last 3 months because I felt so incredibly embarrassed and self-conscious—how ugly and filled-with-flaws my prose sounds when I read it afterwards, how it wouldn’t be worth other’s time to look through my blog. This is the dilemma we all face when we try to act, to do something. Because there is no mistake, no failure, in inaction. (Hence Lao Sze’s insistence on “non-action”—“无为”; hence also why courage is the virtue par excellence in Ancient Greece where action reigns supreme. )
What I’ve come to learn these past few months is that even though the potential for embarrassment is always there in writing and sharing what I wrote, the reward and the joy in action is worth the risk. The joy is not simple hedonistic-onanistic pleasure, but a kind of contentment in being able to communicate with human beings that I would otherwise never meet, and reveal some of myself to them (though not in a morbid Freudian sexual way) and share my passions and interests and loves that I hold which I don’t share with most people around me because they don’t normally give too much of a damn about them. To write these blogs, and to even have one or two souls click on it, is to know that I am not alone in this world and that the world is bigger than myself.
You see. I experienced this strange state of dread and clarity when I woke up from an afternoon nap today. Me lying there on my balcony, as the bugs croaked and the sun set, and suddenly seeing that someday I will die, and nothing—all that I love, all that I know—will be. It was only for a brief minute (and a minute is long enough—since no one, I don’t think, can really stay sane to be there any longer [it would perhaps be Heidegger’s Dasein’s authentic mode of being])—and it was then that I realized how much writing and reading and thinking and talking and acting meant to me…