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A piece of randomness

October 13, 2010
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Every once in a while when I am not at my desk, when I am taking a casual stroll, a thought occurs to me and I think I’d write it up soon. Nothing ever gets written, though. Some precious little might, but most of it just vapourizes into oblivion. Traces remain. And sometimes I manage to put them together. Ideas are hard to come by, more so when you have little space for them, for your mind is so crammed with the routine and the mundane that the random and the creative has little chance to show up. Sometimes, though, it does. For me, it usually happens when I indulge (yes, I mean “indulge”) in conversations (which is a euphemism for monologues) or in writing (another euphemism for the endless blabbering of an uncertain mind trying to find its bearings).

It’s been a while since i let loose some words for the sheer joy of writing. Instead, I have been talking a lot. The creativity goes more into the spoken word than the written. And there´s a beautiful impermanence and spontaneity about the spoken word. The written word is susceptible to change, and to editing, the spoken word is not. Here’s one guy that popped up from nowhere in my random doodling, courtesy a marker and a whiteboard:


Don’t ask me what it is for I do not know. I need to put it together, to collect this randomness, and weave some magic out of it. If you´re wondering what I am talking about, I do not know. Yes, I do not know. These are words full of uncertainty, and possibility. Since I do not know, the excitement is intact. There’s something unexpected about what I am writing because I do not know what the next few words are going to be. I am not beginning with an idea in mind, or a plan. I am only wondering if one would emerge as I continue writing. The past often occupies my mind while the present slips away into its embrace. And sometimes the future takes up too much of my time, while the present misses me. There are pages of my life I haven’t bothered to pen down yet. And I do not know if I will. I wonder if it is a good idea to chronicle one’s life as one lives it. The exercise seems somewhat futile and boring to me. For most of one’s life is spent doing what everyone does – the routine, the mundane, the necessary, and the urgent. It is only the moments unlike all others – the unnecessary, the random and the creative – that stay on in one’s memory. Yet there´s a part of me that thinks that it might be worthwhile to make a note of, at least, these moments. At least, one could, in principle, go back to these few moments in one´s life that one could possibly learn something from or maybe derive some entertainment from.

As I see it, life seems to be random. The core of our existence is randomness. Every moment many random events happening together create a sense of emergent order from the underlying chaos. It’s a series of random events that shape our lives. The fact that we are born is a random event. We might as well not have been born if it were not for the right sperm fertilizing the right egg. Our being wherever we are and whatever we are is a collection of random coincidences, shaped by some choices – ours or others’, which might even be well-considered, but might as well be pretty random.

The other day, in my wanderings, I happened to discover a beach, and a couple of curious sights delighted and disgusted me. The sea delighted me. And I was going all poetic, in a fit of romanticism, thinking to myself – while facing the sea – of how I could write something beautiful about the moment. In a way, I was trying to be “profound”. While I was contemplating the sea, I noticed two camels – yes, camels! – on the beach, facing away from the sea and I wondered if I was hallucinating. I probably wasn’t. And, then, in one simple squat, a kid on the beach demolished all my poetic aspirations! I had to walk away from the beach – of course, the sea carries it all, turd and dirt, with it, but to see it right there was disconcerting – and come back to my desk, and write this piece of randomness.

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