Monthly Archives: 八月 2007

Broken wings

It is 7:41 in the evening, and I have decided to stay behind in the office to have some “me" time. Yes, it’s that serious. The office is, at present, the only available place to me where I have the necessary mental and physical space to think and write. In my mind is a whole backlog of articles I intended to put to “paper", ones that have almost turned mouldy at the back of my deserted faculties. Most days I feel that I’ve outgrown my present habitat – I wish I could feel contented, but in my heart I simply know that I want so much more. There have been moments of near despair, when I longed to stretch my wings and take flight, and found that I no longer could – the frustration is slowly mounting. I wish I could weep or scream or punch my fists in the air, in something, someone – all these things I do internally – it is as if my soul is being stifled and my mind is being caged and getting stir-crazy. It is vaguely reminiscent of Jean-Dominique Bauby’s condition as described in the book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: he was suffering from “locked-in syndrome", with a perfectly functional mind trapped inside a wasted, paralysed body. For him, the writing of that book – by picking out letters from a list by different numbers of blinks at a scribe – was the only way to liberate himself from the debilitating disorder. The book is so eloquently written that it puts many able-bodied writers to shame, and a very thought-provoking read. Days after the book was published, Bauby himself passed away, as if he could finally put life behind after finishing that gargantuan, sisyphean (!) task of communicating his thoughts to the world. Forgive my melodramatic tendencies, but I am hoping that my own mental incarceration can be terminated before it’s too late.

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