When I started this blog, I said to myself, I’d update it at least once a week. It has been three weeks since my last post — and that wasn’t even a proper exercise in writing.
Three weeks ago, when I was on vacation in the province, I often felt like writing on certain themes: Iloilo vs. Manila; the commercialized monstrosity that is Boracay; the sense of colonization and racism even in my own country; marriage and wedding ceremonies; the heightened importance of family and community and tradition outside urban centers; 2010 in retrospect and 2011 in the drafts. Somehow, I never got to writing about them. The moment our plane landed back in Manila, I set about readjusting to life post-vacation and establishing routines geared to make my days efficient in accordance with my goals for the new year (mostly the same old fitness- and culture-related ones): wake up, eat breakfast, exercise, go to work, eat dinner, go jogging/to the gym or practice yoga, read a book/watch a movie/write, sleep.
It takes such effort for me to drag myself to UP after work to jog, or to the yoga mat for my downward dogs and shoulder stands, and after that all I ever feel like doing is sleep. On weekends I leave the hermitage that is my apartment, and go home (home being my parents’ house) and lounge about with a book in hand or a computer screen in my face.
I fear I have become too lazy, too comfortable and content — and I feel guilty because it is a personal pleasure I enjoy, the sweetness of doing nothing or whatever it is I fancy in my many hours of leisure, and the things I feel like doing these days never seem to benefit anyone outside myself, or to push the boundaries of what I am, what I think.
I distrust comfort because it makes one soft; I distrust contentment because it so often leads to complacency; I am wary of falling too snugly into routine because it curbs ambition and shackles the mind.
I think, too, that I crave sturm und drang, a bit of tang and zing, a little challenge, a mountain to scale. But when they’re there I find myself wishing for serenity and endless sleep. It troubles me that my concept of accomplishment holds self-abuse and exhaustion as corollaries — there must be tears, curses, pains in the chest, circles under the eyes.
And it disturbs me that these days, I cannot, do not want, to write. Is it the lack of turbulent thoughts and feelings that must be given expression? The familiar boundaries within which my mind is accustomed to stray? The sense that I have come to care strongly about nothing much, nothing new? I am content, I am comfortable, but I am not dreaming. I am in want of nothing but to want.
Then again maybe I should just reread Buddhist texts.
EDIT: Or watch this video (thanks Ma’am Frances!)