Monday, January 24, 2005

Finding your hidden desire

I always like writing but in my life I don't always write. When I was in elementary school I used to get very high grades in writing (mengarang) -- but well elementary school was too easy to get high grades in any subject anyway.. hehehe. OK, stop being arrogant! (arrogantly honest..hehe). Despite grades I got, I thought while I liked writing I actually loved singing, music, drama, math, (and especially playing) even more. So, I stopped writing stories and poems when I was in junior high school (SMP).. and did not come back to writing until 1998! That was more than a decade of frozen 'talent' (assumingly I have talent in it.. hehe.. self-declaration, yikes..) I stopped mostly not because I didn't like writing but because I just didn't think it's important to write anyway. Stupid me.

But then one day, on May 14th, 1998, I got some bad news that really upset me. I was so angry but did not know what to do. I was speechless. I was hopeless. In the middle of one sleepless night, I felt an urge to pour out my feelings and emotions. I then started typing and in just a couple of minutes a poem was born. It was about my ambiguous relationship with my country. Love and hate relationship. It was triggered by a dark event of May the 14th in Indonesia.

Not so long after I posted that poem in one mailing list -- as a response to a heated discussion on the event -- a senior poet sent me an email. He called me "a young poet". I was surprised and flattered at the same time. I started communicating with him in e-poems since then and we both actually wrote hundreds of poems together. Eventually a couple of years later, we made a dummy of our first poetry book (draft) and got a very senior literature critic (who was also a famous philosopher) reviewed our draft. It got a very good review, praised and highly recommended to be published. However, unplanned things happened. I was busy preparing my PhD plan and about going to move abroad... then he had personal problems that took most of his time. Somehow, we just stopped finalizing things. Our final draft was there but the book was never published.

Today I am reminded of that plan and thought of emailing that friend of mine. Yes, it's a pity we didn't publish it. However, the point of this story is not that publication plan. The point is related to the fact that since then I've been continuosly writing. Not only poems, but stories and even many academic papers and eventually got a numerous articles published in international channels. What I am trying to say here are:
(1) the fact that one event can change how you act in the future -- I was back to writing because of that May event, and
(2) an acknowledgment from that senior poet had awakened one hidden desire in me, yes, a desire to write, a desire to leave some marks in this earth.

I believe that many people (many of you) have similar experiences. To find or re-find your hidden or buried desire, you sometimes (if not most of times) need a moment and an event. In seismologic term, you need a moment magnitude that create an event -- a real rupture! And in addition, you need someone -- most of times is someone that you admire -- to confirm that your desire is on the right track or has reasons to be pursued.

So, if you have a hidden desire to write or to paint, to dance or whatever... perhaps it's time to acknowledge it...
If you find a moment (and an event) to wake it up... let me create one for you.. hehehe.


Anonymous said...

Mer, you remind me my hidden desires, and dreams, that i thought has gone away. But i just realised that they're still there, waiting. Mer, i'm proud to watch you grow and bloom become as you are now. Sure in the future i will become someone who can say that i'm proud because i knew you and (was) once your friend. And your 'celoteh' keeps my dreams and desires alive while waiting the right time and the right 'me' to be realized.

merlyna lim said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comments.
You not only 'were' once my friend. All of my friends are forever friends, including you.
I'm proud that you still keep your dreams and desires alive. I believe your 'time' has come... soon.