Watching the great minds, duking it out here, translated…
Back when I was just seventeen, I’d met this girl who’s very talented in writing, she’d shocked me with her writings. Once when she was getting published, she proudly announced, “From before I was able to write, I’d already started writing inside my heart”. There is, a vital difference between a starving artist and an artist indeed. It’s an amazing feat, to be writing with one’s abilities. And still, nobody knows, when the heavens will reach down, and take that away from you. After all, some would work really very hard, “managed only a few sentences over the course of a few years, and, as s/he recited the words, tears fell uncontrollably”, and still wouldn’t climb to the very TOP of the mountains. Ai-Leen Chang once sighed, that the most talented woman had all of a sudden, gotten married to a man. And, when those talented writers declared that they’re to stop writing, it’s left me with a TON of regrets. Write or don’t, live or die, there must be a TON of tangling reasons. If you’re NOT the person, it would be hard for you to understand the mindsets.
A very long time later, I’d learned that the girl took up a major unrelated to the literary, she’d won a couple of literary awards, then, stopped writing altogether. I don’t know if she feels that she hadn’t put her talent to good use, but I feel it’s such a shame that she’d stopped writing. Maybe, it’s just from my part, maybe, not writing would make her life a whole lot easier, a whole lot happier. When I’m writing, I’d often wondered, that is this the life I want to lead? Just writing inside my mind, that’s good, isn’t it? Dong-Puo Su once stated, that “the people’s worries starts when they start to read, and writing the names down will become troubling.” Living in this sort of a fixated misery, Su had written his whole life too. The most amazing part of writing lies in how bravely we get to enter an unknown realm, to create and go into adventures in everyday life.
In the graduating class of teaching instructors, there was a student who’d turned in his well-written diaries, and, it didn’t take him long, to use up all the pages of the notebook. He loved the movies, and every movie he’d viewed, he’d written down things that made him feel. From his words, it’d led me to believe, that “taking it all in is a kind of creating”. His analysis, his views, can put those expert movie reviewers to shame. This made me understand, that having something to say to this world, is the best way of combining passions and creating.
Recalling how I’d started writing, it must’ve been those three years in Shi-Feng Middle School. My homeroom teacher, Mei-Jiang Chiu would make us write dairy every single day, she’s an English teacher, and made sure that we’re all adept in expressing ourselves in Chinese. Keeping my diaries became a habit, and I’d kept at it until I went to the doctorate class in Donghua University. The way that I wrote by hand, I’d still loved it to date. These couple of years, I’d stopped writing (physical) diary, instead, I’d let people know what and how I’m doing on Facebook, and that’s become a half-private kind of diary. The connections of writing and life, there’s NOT a more direct way. Back then, Ms. Chiu had told me more than once, that you will become an author. Don’t know if it’s her words, that made my destiny as a writer or not. All I can do right now, is to get along with my destiny.
I’d taught for over a decade in high school, being able to talk about writing with the students is one of the most joyful things in life. But when I could talk on more depth, something that’s harder to comprehend, and my students can understand, then, the joy is exacerbated even more. It’s just that in these couple of years, I’d watched a TON of talented kids, put up their pens, and stopped writing altogether, Wei-Ting Chen was one of them. (I’d secretly hoped, that Chen could continue writing his novels, continue reporting, to use a pen to reply to the goings-on of the world right now). Some had stopped writing poetry too, and turned themselves into experts in psychology. And so, I’d consoled myself, that those once writers may have found more meaningful things for them to do in their lives than writing now.
Rollo May in “Creating Courage” kept mentioning, to use the courage you took to create, to fight off the void and the anxieties, to create art out of “circumstances”, to make meaning out of schemas. The situation of the artists is that “they’d knocked on the doors of silences, and gotten the replies in music; they’d talked of the nonexistent existence, until they can force the nonexisting, to come into existence.” “A true artist must be connected with her/his time, and, once s/he is taken away from the time, s/he becomes useless. A true painter can show the psychological states that they have with the world physically.” I believe that so long as we’re truthful with the world we come in contact with, then, we wouldn’t need to worry about missing out on life. At least, facing this ordinary world, I write internally.
And so, writing became a way of separating the self from the rest of the world, but, writing doesn’t really separate oneself from the world, because in order to write, you MUST put yourselves into the world, otherwise, you won’t be able to come up with the amazing written materials that you had already come up with, would you? Nope.