Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dolor

my sadness is the 
red orange yellow
bleeding into each other
streaking across the lapis lazuli sky
as the sun sets in the horizon

my melancholy
is the ebony platinum silk
the muted cloak that drapes
over the earth in
her instance of ethereal solitude

as my sights feast
on these exquisite images
my insides ache
keeping these feelings
from breaking the seams
overflowing
inundating rivers
of listless fervor

this tired soul yearns to taste life again



-N.K., Hamilton, 11.40 pm, 10/19/14



Monday, October 13, 2014

Hiatus

I guess, God loved you more.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Flu Season

am I finally convalescing
there's just this dull ache in my heart
where you used to be
I don't really feel it anymore
except when I take a step forward
opening a new door

am I supposed to learn to coexist
with this immovable torment
they say you can start with a clean slate
a new book
but really I'm just turning a new page
and I can still peek at earlier chapters

I want to escape this state of catatonia
let me feel again
administer a stimulation to my senses
so that I wake with a jolt
and I can once again embrace life's fullness
run abreast with the rest of the world

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book review, it's been a while.

Recently, I acquired this book :

much thanks to Ooi Kok Hin for delivering it to me from the states in a really cute little parcel. Appreciate it. 

Firstly, I should probably state my biases : I generally prefer English reading materials, and very rarely do I actually purchase any reading materials voluntarily. I write primarily in English, and if you ask me to write a proper Malay essay right now I'd probably fail terribly. 

Some of these articles were written by my friends, i.e. people I actually know in real life, or, I suppose, people I've known over Facebook that I have been in contact with over the years, or at the very minimal, have seen their names on Facebook due to their Facebook activities, ahem. There may be one or two that I really am not familiar with. Part of the reason I actually bought it is because it's a compilation of my peers' writings, and also, because I was curious, and sort of in awe they'd got their works published, something I'd wished for myself, but I doubt my writings were really that good, even if they were publishing-worthy, it'd require a lot of editing. 

Anyhow, about the book, it's all in Malay, and yes, being inadequately equipped with the knowledge of the nuances in the language to allow me to produce any remotely artistic or coherent pieces in Malay, I was impressed with the quality of the writing, and I suppose I am still capable of appreciating the cerpen's (short stories). I've always loved and preferred fiction and stories. Stories convey meaning a lot more differently than an opinion piece would. It's something about how the information is presented in a flowing narrative and the extra reflection you end up making at the end of the story in piecing those information together. And I suppose, for lack of a better description, fiction is a lot more "light" and easier to digest. My favorite, if I had to pick any, was the one about the homeless man in the cold, I guess I was affected by it the most because I'd seen those kind of people in the dead of winter before. There's a few more, but I kind of liked them equally as much but religious contemplation pieces have a special place in my heart, and they seem well-written to me, coming from someone who isn't actually that articulate in Malay writing. Out of all the anecdotes, there was a single one that touched on homosexuality, spoiler alert, which was really bold, because I personally haven't read anything of that sort in Malay, but I don't know if it had enough depth of a raw experience to judge if it was effective. wallahualam. but okay, I didn't see that coming. Adilla, you get a special mention, has two pieces in it, but I've read those before in her blog (was it?) but it was still equally as good reading it a second, third time over. And oh, one sarcastic piece made me laugh out loud. 

There's a lot of philosophy sprinkled in between, or at least references of it, or mention of names. If you're not familiar to philosophy, you'd probably at least googled those names on wikipedia and get a rough idea of what things they wrote about to warrant a mention in those prose. Some of the names mentioned, I've at least heard of them before, thanks to my Ethics complementary electives course in second year, yay. It's the first time though that I've actually read a book with shades of philosophy written in Malay which felt a little weird. I don't read enough of philosophy to comment on it, but I love that there are actually people with varied reading habits. Growing up, I don't really know that many people who would pick up a book on philosophy, but I've enjoyed googling about those other names I don't really know about, and yes, I do enjoy googling random stuff in my free time. 

Some writings seem like musings, like it was a stream of consciousness pieced together. I admit my writings do end up being stitched up pieces of my thoughts too. All in all, there were varied writing styles. Each piece had its own individuality and nothing felt similar, even though a couple few touched on similar themes of religion, education, humanity and such. 

All in all, it was a good read, the book was really light and felt just the right size to fit in the hands, even as a one-handed read, which I tend to do with my books, because heck, engineering textbooks are so thick and heavy, anytime I get my hands on a smaller-sized tome, I'd just hold it one-handedly. It didn't take me that long at all to finish it, about 6 hours tops. It's interesting to read about the thoughts my peers have.

I'd say give it a go, it's not your usual collection of short stories/essays. Hopefully it gets those cog wheels turning. For me, a good book is one that makes you ponder and ruminate, and yeah, every person takes away different things from a book and form their own interpretations about it, which is always an interesting thing to share. Books are thoughts that creates other thoughts, and that's why I love them so much, even though I hardly have the time to properly read books nowadays. sighs. 

P/S: I'm pretty sure this deserves a thorough dissection, though I'm really just doing this while taking a break from the eng life, so yeah. Perhaps another time.

Some thoughts before I get insanely busy again

I realized I wasn't as idealistic as I was back in my high school days. I tend to retreat to the background, focusing on getting my share of the pie of reality. Maybe even indifferent sometimes. Or perhaps I was just uninspired ?

I feel like I'm on the cusp of that age where I can actually make meaningful change, realizing those teenage ideals, and that age where performance really matters and will determine what comes next for me.

I do notice though, some of my peers who I once spoke of ideals with actually carrying on with it, even initiating movements, while some remain in the background, and some other peers, who, during school, didn't really tried standing out as much, but have started their own movement. It's surreal.

There's several groups in which my peers choose to gravitate to, especially for those studying overseas. I must mention the UK, the middle east, which have very prominent student organization activities.

Well, I suppose, every individual has their own reason to participate in such activities and I do not wish to be critical of it. It could be for kicks, to kill time, to enhance their credentials on their resume, spend more time with friends, networking, or even for sincerely believing in furthering their cause, whatever it may be.

Back when I was in school, the elders often warned us youngsters of being in a vulnerable position at this current age I'm in. Exposed to God knows what doctrines, by God knows what groups.

So far, I've been observant, but I am impartial to any groups, and I don't endorse anything, not openly, yet. Though I do lose out in the networking/resume-building/socializing aspect of it. I wonder if it was a wise move.

And it's funny even in my observations, I see my own circle of friends choosing their own groups of friends and acquaintances, how their circle has evolved out side of our old one.

Though, to be honest, it's nice to be part of a group with like-minded individuals who are actually on your wavelength whom you can share your thoughts with and they'd get you. I'd craved for such company all this while, though at the same time I was glad I grew up with different kinds of people, and often I ended up being the oddball and frustrated that people don't get me, but on the bright side, at least I learned some semblance of tolerance and openness from the experience.

Though I feel like over the years, I've really mellowed and perhaps, giving into my current situation in trying to find my place in the real world, I've probably stopped being as idealistic as I was in school, but sometimes, coming across groups of peers speaking of the things I once mused does remind me of the good days and gave me hope there are perhaps other people like me, or other people who believe in the same cause I once fervently did, and are making a change, or at least, materializing those ideas.

So, would it not make sense for me to reignite that old flame within me and join a cause that I believed in ? Is this not the chance to make a difference, to pursue one's hearts desires with like-minded people ? I don't know why I am holding back. I don't know why I remain skeptical. Or maybe simply passive ? Or disinterested ?

Truth be told, until I find some sort of sense of settling down in this uncertain reality, I don't think I could really occupy myself with other thoughts. I know, it doesn't feel like the best way to live, being constantly in a state of anxiety, but I guess it's just the survival instincts that keep you on your toes, and I'm not really one to go with the flow of things.

So, yes, this may not be my most eloquent post, but I've been meaning to write this for quite a while but I couldn't bring myself to pen it down. There were several times I'd open a new blog post window, type, backspace, retype and end up discarding the draft. I couldn't actually put it in proper words, but once I started writing, it just flowed.

Alright, I guess for now, there's not really a resolution to this thought, but I'll keep it where it is for now. I'm not going to make a stand until I find my own footing.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Summer Introspection. An End.

So, the new semester's officially started, and it almost feels bittersweet. I'm back in the grind and I'm anticipating the sweat and tears ahead that await me for the last two semesters I have, inshaAllah.

I can't believe I spent a full 4 months of not doing anything academic or career-related in Canada (not that I've ever had anything career-related in the past summers). It feels surreal because just last summer I was telling myself that I'm halfway through, now I'm almost done.

First two months was basically the Vancouver trip which I've put off blogging about, Bruce Peninsula trip, last minute bonding with the graduating seniors, and recuperating from a brutal third year which I really did stretch myself to my limit. I'm about to do that again for the capstone and this weekend I basically have to start crunching my mental cogwheels and come up with a plan and a direction, not to mention reviewing all the math I left behind for 4 months as it looks like 4th year will be full speed ahead with no more first few weeks of review, and all the labs will be turned up a notch too because it's project-based and not on a "follow instructions and sketch what you see in the oscilloscope" basis anymore. 4th year will be the real test, as my third year labs has still been of the "follow instructions and sketch what you see in the oscilloscope" kind.

On top of all that, I have to keep up with datelines, which I really hate. And the inevitability of facing the future, after the cycle of coaxing myself that I have to go through all this suffering and early mental preparation for the sake of a better future, and putting off making any decisions thinking that I'd still have time. No one is holding my hand this time, and I'm being thrust into the unknown.

To emphasize the solitary-ness of this path I now walk, I came onto campus grounds, most of my friends has gone to internship, with little to no familiar faces, and again I'm thrust into the unknown.

Though, to be honest, I'm torn being wanting to where I really want to be, and desperately wanting to survive what reality demands of me.

I hope that God give me strength that I could stay on top of it all, and get through this.

Second two months of summer was basically fasting, staying home, playing games, and the last two weeks was purely hanging out and revisiting the places I'd been way back in my first summer in Canada, though in retrospect, this is only my third summer. So, it's not that many summers. However, my memories of the seasons usually bleed into each other and whatever I did in any seasons almost seem indistinguishable, and interchangeable. 

I've always aimed to work hard in all my time that I had here I formed a tunnel vision, and only after the end of this summer I realized how many people I've taken for granted, thinking I still have many seasons to go, and several whom I realized I haven't spoken to for a whole year, and I panic thinking I'd only have a year left, and it's the year I'm supposed to be in even more of a tunnel vision as I make the last sprint to the finish line. This is where I have to put everything on the line, and give it my all, I don't have time for anything else. Youth is for working hard so you'd have a good life when you're old.

I have to find where my heart is. Am I taking it too seriously ? It is the time to take things seriously ain't it ? Have I not been taking it seriously all this while ? 

Summer has ended and I'm left feeling a little uneasy as compared to my other summers. Did I just let it slip away ? Did I spend it well ? 

Had I always been living here, summers just come and go, you miss this summer, the next one's always coming, but no, I am not given that luxury. I am counting seasons and I am in uncertainty, as I personally hadn't been able to clearly visualize myself being part of the grind back home, not that I'm saying that I deserve better and that crunching away in a foreign country is better, because "better" is relative. 

Have my three years of thinking and musing and planning and working away going to be for naught because I falter at the finish line ? 

I've always been alone all these years, but this is the most alone so far that I've ever felt, and once I step out of the university bubble, it's every man for himself, and I wonder if I'm ever ready for it. 

I know what I have to do, but I can feel my knees shaking thinking to myself I don't want to be the one who does not know what I'm doing. 

Here's to a new semester, Mac.