Saturday, September 15, 2012

Returning to the Oasis

To write again in this blog is like going home again after a long absence. I can't believe this is my first entry for 2012! Where have I been all these time?

I started blogging, I believe, in 2003, which makes this blog almost ten years old. I was enjoying my time in Jakarta then: I remember blogging from an Internet cafe in Sarinah, disciplining myself to an hour of blogging everyday (They charged 5000 rupiah an hour).

Those were certainly great times. Life in Jakarta was filled with discovery and possibilities. I wrote, I read, I explored and I made a lot of friends. I was freer than a bird.

And how I'd read: I had a book with me all the time and any spot that would allow me to sit quietly and undisturbed would be turned into a reading nook: on trains chugging my way across the Parahyangan mountains, in rustic Sundanese restaurants drowned in their hypnotic strains of gamelan music, at street corners after hearty meals of bubur ayam, serenaded by the ever-present buskers (pengamins), in my happy hotel room--half-watching BBC News on TV--after another satisfying day of wandering all over Jakarta.

Not only did I blog, I also wrote longhand in my journal: one page a day for 2 years, maintaining a habit I had started when I was working in Singapore. I had a maxim then: If something is not written down, it did not happen. One writes to live. Only through writing, life's events are thoroughly absorbed and assimilated into one's soul.

I have been doing a different type of writing these past years in KL: programming. Writing computer code is in many ways, a simpler task than writing prose. The vocabulary of programming is much smaller: everything is precise, deterministic and logical.

Prose writing, in comparison is a struggle--there's always that dreaded blank page, with the ever-blinking cursor mocking you from the computer screen, and there you'd sit alone searching, waiting for that elusive word or turn of phrase that would capture in perfection that thought you have in mind.

After years of wandering in the desert of computer code, now, or at least tonight, I stumble onto my old familiar oasis of a blog--the sweetness of its waters feels like balm on my soul.

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