September 23, 2014

Word Traveling: On Emotions and Eula Biss’ “No Man’s Land”

It is hard, admittedly, to finish a creative nonfiction book. Perhaps because they are driven by emotions—often dominantly singular, negatively singular: hatred, loss, anger. These emotions wittingly, consciously creep into the reader and weigh her down with heaviness and sighs, rendering her helpless and boneless to the point that taking a break from the book is necessary. That is how I feel mostly with narratives detailing collective pain: diaspora, slavery, racial discrimination, corruption, death, violence, injustice. James Baldwin’s. Jamaica Kincaid’s.  (And perhaps Joan Didion’s. No, I haven’t read the pile of Didions for the sheer reason that it is not the […]
February 2, 2013

Blog: At Terra Manna Before January Ended

January is a day shy of leaving. And yet this served as the first entry for this year. I realized that I actually started this journal on New Year’s Eve 2012  with a list of goals I desired to achieve before the year ended. I achieved some. Others remained as goals. This very entry can be taken as a sign that my undiaried, unwritten—perhaps
October 20, 2012

Montebello Villa Hotel: Its Lines and their Subtlety

On Memories, Drawing, Truth, and David Foster Wallace “What is drawing?” my high school TLE teacher once asked us. “It is the combination of colors,” a classmate answered for the sake of class participation. “It has shadows.” “It depicts nature and life.” “It shows emotions.” He nodded to some by-the-book tries, which sounded novel—not attempts on novelty—to the high-school Jona. I did not know the word “novelty” th.en “But, basically,” he momentarily stopped to build suspense perhaps, “drawing is a combination of lines,” he continued. We wore the look of stupidity.
August 8, 2012

Quotes from Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Middlesex”

“What time did you go to bed last night?” asked P, who is always concerned about my crazy sleeping habits, which he thinks detrimental to my health, health-conscious as he is. “Hmm. Four, I guess?” I answered. There is no point in lying because he could easily see them through my eyebags and constant yawns. “Reading?” “Yeah. Middlesex.” “Thought you didn’t like it.” “Yeah, I didn’t like the first five pages.”