A Royal Exile

Some days I just feel this inexplicable exhaustion from writing, as if every word I have in my head is drained to its last dying drop and every sentence is wiped out clean of their substance. I have been writing for as long as I can remember, and there is simply too much friction in my head already brought about by the relentless engagement of words, by the merciless impingement of their letters.

Don’t get me wrong. I am more than thankful that I am still able to write, even if most of my writings now are just musings, personal reflections on my every day life in the city, reviews of my most favorite books and films, and honest takes on beauty products and online shops. I have created quite a distance now from the kind of writing I had been accustomed to for the past five years in the university, and sometimes it feels odd to write about things which I am not so sure of writing, things which I am not familiar with. (Like how am I going to write in a manner that acknowledges the presence of the reader and allows the reader to know of his/her participation?) When I was writing way back in the university, I wrote mostly for exposure: to let my ideas be disclosed to my professors without thinking whether they would approve of it or not, or whether they would understand it or not. What I learned from reading philosophy was to get as brutal as possible to expression. I think I was never able to finish the Critiques because I had no patience with Kant. Hegel was so close to unfathomable. Heidegger was gigantic with words until the eternal charade of Being and being. Nietzsche’s my favorite but they say his writings are not for everybody, and sometimes I feel like I am part of that excluded crowd.

Sometimes I catch myself remembering all the days and nights I spent writing about philosophy and wishing I could just stop, just stop reading and writing and bleeding words—to wake up one day completely forgetful of every book I have read, of every idea I have defended and nurtured and allowed to grow, of every thinker I have met and adored. Back then I thought it was a pleasure to write for myself. But it turned out that writing for myself was the loneliest enterprise of all. Words come out of you like sap from a plant, like blood from human veins—and at first it feels cathartic. But at some point they come back to you like poison ivy and kill kill kill, until words become your prison.

I have been keeping this little blog for over five years now and most of the time it feels pointless to carry on. But now that I’m starting to reach out to the world, I feel this heavy lump in my throat when I first realized that the world I wanted so badly to be part of was crowded with a lot of people. The world wide web is as populated with writers now than it was ever before, and nobody is special. Ultimately all of my words and ideas in my blog posts are simply carried off in a raging stream of information and technology.

the princess diaries
A scene culled from one of my childhood’s most favorite films, The Princess Diaries (2001). Also, my silent prayers to Garry Marshall who directed the film. He left on a full moon. He was kind beyond kind. 

Lilly (Heather Matarazzo): But the truth is, you being a princess is kind of a miracle.

Mia (Anne Hathaway): What miracle? It’s a nightmare.

Lilly: No, think about it. I just found out that my cable show only reaches 12 people. Wanting to rock the world but having zip power like me, that’s a nightmare. But you…wow!

Mia: Okay, what is so wow?

Lilly: Wow is having the power to affect change, make people listen. How many teenagers have that power? What more of a miracle do you want?

Mia: Well, I’ll just have to find a different miracle. Not more, just different.

I think of power—how often it was the subject of our one-too-many discourses in college and how when I think about my dreams (I didn’t know I still have a few of them left) I imagine an elaborate channel of forces flowing violently from all directions, erasing every point of origin and end.

Some of us are carried on to the other side without us even knowing. I’m trying to scream but there is no sound.


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