Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Starting Out Cold

It’s been very cold the past few days that I’ve gone through four or five light scarves and must now resort to jackets. I’m not the sort of person who can think in terms of degrees Celsius (and that’s something to remedy, I know), so by cold I mean that I now sleep without air-conditioning, and on some nights, if you can believe this, without the fan.

I know from fifth grade science class that this is a Siberian wind, blowing across the planet and into the tropics. It’s not expected to last long and pretty soon, thanks to global warming, summer will be here with a vengeance. But there are conflicting reports: the local weather bureau predicts it will be a rainy summer although I’m hoping there will be some corner in this country that will be bright and sunny. There always is.

For now my alone times have been spent sitting and typing away on my balcony with scarf around my neck and a hot cup of coffee beside my computer. I keep trying to get started on the things I’ve been meaning to write, especially since last Saturday’s lunch with Paolo, during which he explained his dissertation to me. The first chapter deals with developing an autotelic personality (my apologies to Pao if I may have inadvertently miscomprehended some parts). From what I understood, people with autotelic personalities enjoy the process of doing more than the end result of their work. This is what I think I do understand on an instinctive or primal level but cannot seem to realize in my brain, which is hardwired to produce things following a certain schedule.

My head tells me that by middle of this year I should be done with my book, the one I’ve been meaning to complete for years. I've drawn up a plan, hammered out a schedule, and dug large dusty notebooks filled with notes and accumulated over the years. I have a habit of starting most pages with the date and place, and some reveal notebooks to be from as far back as ten years ago, written in random places such as...Davao...Boracay...Singapore.

But I’m too preoccupied with other things that I can’t even clear out space in my day, or in my mind, to get to work. And in the end: curled up on couch, feet with cold toes tucked under me, DVD. Is procrastination part of the process (because I’m super enjoying that), or is it just the mental breakdown of a brain that can see the goal but not the way to it?

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