Every Time I’d Written, It’s a Small Kind of Escape

This, is someone’s “way out”, I suppose, translated…

When I thought about rebellion, the images of my parents came to mind, they were total opposites.  My father is very straightforward in his temperament, honey, and, when he was younger, he was supposed to catch fishes, he caught fishes, in middle age, he was supposed to sell the fishes, and so, he’d done that, he didn’t have a head for business, there were six of us children, and, he didn’t seem to get stressed out about not making enough money, not that he wasn’t hard working either, before the dawn cracked every morn, he’d rode out with his boxes of fish to the marketplaces, day after day, he never even thought about how he could battle poverty.

My mother, is quite the opposite, she’d done a TON of jobs, including going to Tainan on her own, to set up stands to sell the fishes my father caught, shouldered up the entire household economy, when confronted with a difficulty, she’d always faced it with optimism.  My father had never caught on however, that it was, my mother who was helping him FIGHT poverty, the children are able to grow up safe and sound, and it still wasn’t because of the heavens, looking down on my father, the honest man.

In your book, “The Gloom Over the City of White”, you’d mentioned, “the difficulties will come at you nonstop, it would show itself in various, upsetting forms to people, as a fighter, all I can do, is to never STOP battling it, that way, I can survive in this world.  That, is the truth of a warrior, it’s an undoubted value.”  Often, I’d feel, that all mothers in the world are warriors.

Fighting, seems to be more meaningful to you, in “The Book of an Outer Island”, you’d used humor to describe how someone fought against the ridiculous rules of the army.  As for “The Tree House on Flower Street”, it was all about fighting one’s own fate.

What sort of rebelling is done by poetry writing?  Recalling how as I’d worked as a reporter in Kaohsiung, and met a TON of older poets, in order to fight for the army campsites to become a metropolitan park, they’d written poetry to rebel; there are also the poets that I’d looked up to who’d written about how the government was building nuclear plants onto the wetlands, but, toward the justices in the environments, poems doesn’t seem to do much.

Because poetry in form, is over-romanticized on, and, the symbolisms cause a distance between the public and the poet.  And, the poetry often just posed a question, not theory.  In the past and the present, there were many poets who’d become revolutionaries, because they found that poems are useless that writing them don’t make any difference at all, and so, they’d internalized the words of their own poetry and began rebelling, they wrote about how they stood on the streets and fought, wrote on the society, and the era of instability.  There are a TON of cases where poets became politicians too, they’d gone straight into the systems, to change it, and NOT use those soften words to sigh about their life situations.  And so, “poets, revolutionaries, and rock n’ roll, are often placed together, because of the rebellious nature of the poetry, on the inside.

Resistance, is an important concept in the theory of literature too, for instance, in “Fighting Memories” by Foucault, there are scholars who made a huge deal about “fighting literature”, using crossing the boundaries, to show that there are OTHER forms that aren’t mainstream at all, or, to go UP against the mainstream openly.

The techniques of poetry writing, stated plainly, is the process of rebellion.  Fighting oneself on a day-to-day basis, to keep oneself from repeating, use passion, to fight against the lack of emotionality, wrote on life’s normalcy, and write well on it, write about the spirits, using the traditional skills, to fight the fast-forward ways of the world.

Fighting the speeds!  Some would openly state how they HATE things are speeding up, I’d just read up on a line by an author, Jay Feng, “In an age where speed is everything, the speed comes at us so fast, and, the fast speed is NOT a good tempo, the bad kind of speed is with the signs of death.”  In the world of the internet, writing, is using the slow, fighting the fast, to allow life to slow down, slow down some more, so we can enjoy the scenes.  With one extra poem written, I can allow time to pass by slower.

Writing, we must fight the outside, the temptations, and the inside, our own depressions, otherwise, we can’t do it for the long run.  Even though, Hemingway got wasted the night before, he’d still gotten up at the crack of dawn, and picked up his pen, he’d used self-discipline to defend against laziness, and, those who’d used the same methods are Oden, Simon, Beauvoir, Stephen King, and the like.  Kafka, in order to make his ends meet, found a job at the Insurance Department, he had long hours of work, and, only at night, did he find the time, to write in his small apartment, to help battle the depressions he’d felt and being bound by life, he said, “if we can’t get a happy life easily, then, we MUST find ways, to help us move forward just the same.”

Move forward just the same—from another angle, I’d explained it as “making a small escape”.  In order to move forward in life, you must “make a small escape” every now and then.  Some treated traveling as that, writing serves the same purpose too, Flaubert, after writing for many years, stated, “After all, working (writing), is the best way to escape from my life”.  Making a small escape is NOT equivalent to being on exile, it’s leaving, to get some fresh air, but, you will carry that freshness that you’d gotten from the escapes you’d made, back to work again, coming back, to fight!  So, making a small escape, is a sort of rebellion too, to allow oneself to take a breather, to make one realize, that there’s more than ONE way to approach life, that there are alternative routes.

Whether or not you face it straightforward, or, in a round-and-about kind of way, “rebellion” is like the “primary motive” we’d talked about for the writers, and, rebelling is deep, in the nature of the creators.

And so, you are writing, to make an escape, to escape from reality, because, when you write, you’re immersed, in your own imagination, and, NOBODY can get to you there, that, is why writing works for a LOT of people, and, writing is a more passive form of rebellion, it’s a safer route, compared to heading outside, and speaking out loud.

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Filed under Expectations, Life, Nonconformity, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Values

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