waxing philosophical

may 2013

listening to: norah jones radio.

the takeaway of this post: finals does crazy things to one’s sanity.

it’s funny how it’s “why,” and in the English language it is pronounced as “Y” — as if depicting two paths splitting off at a fork. Two possibilities to consider, and we wonder why we chose one path over the other. Why, indeed.

our life trajectory consists of a series of choices stringed together towards some purpose. this i believe. by no means are these choices arbitrary, merely one event falling after another in a trail of isolated occurrences. no — one thing leads to another, and the connections among our choices, the people we meet, and the events we encounter all propel us towards some sense of “I.” whether circular or linear, these connections are bound closely together.

we only begin to understand ourselves through these external experiences — how do I became aware of my own quiet and introspective character unless i can compare to the qualities i observe in another? if one is that, then i am this. without the physical appearance of a quality that manifests itself in varying degrees in different objects and people, how else are we to discern what that quality means, besides an intangible conception inside our minds? but even that conception depends upon the material reality before us — if i have never seen a chair before in my life, it would probably be difficult, if not impossible, to construct a mental image of a chair.

of course, all this is a digression from my original thought. that is, no one event is isolated. where do the series of our experiences and interactions lead us to? where are we going? it feels as if i am constantly headed for somewhere, but i’m not sure where.

cheesy hallmark cards and motivational speakers tell us, “focus on the journey, not the destination.”  okay. but why is it so hard to keep the destination out of my mind? i feel almost as if i am perpetually being tugged by an invisible thread towards something, somewhere. sometimes this thread is a heavy steel cable that pulls me with brute force; sometimes this thread is but a fine silken string that gently draws me toward that inexplicable, unforeseeable destination. sometimes this thread is a perfect line across which i move easily; sometimes this thread has so many snags that i am bound in its intricacies.

if it is Fate that drives us to that destination, wherever and whatever it is, then why are we given the capacity to make our own choices? and if we are not making our own choices, then why are we given the illusion that we alone are independently making decisions?

i don’t know. these questions make my head hurt.

on a breezy, warm day like today, when the blue sky is tinged with almost grey clouds and the chill of the wind escapes the warmth of the sun, i wonder about that “why” again. if the Y consists of two compatible paths, or of two contrasting ones. two divergent and even opposing forces. on a day like today, when the sky chooses to cast its bright azure eyes towards this world with cloudy tears that gently roll down to meet the rooftops over which students laboriously pore over books, in the hope that this diligence will lead them somewhere, someday — the “why” stands brazen and resilient between the sun and the wind.


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