Between 20 March and 12 April this year, I wrote six pieces on our trip to Nepal in March. On Su’s advice, I uploaded some pictures with the teaser which had helped to attract more viewers or visitors on the Facebook post, but I can never be sure how many took the trouble to read those articles the way that Su or a friends would. My brother Francis tried to write some feedback to the articles on the website, but maybe I had messed up the settings or maybe I had not paid my website people sufficiently, he couldn’t do it. As far as I am concerned, I cannot ascertain how many readers visited my website or read what.
Then one or two members of my Rotary Club asked us to give a presentation on our Nepal experience, having looked at some of the tell-tale pictures that Su had uploaded on social media. We agreed, but it was not until yesterday, some eight months after our trip, that we were given a slot to do so. Su spent the morning putting together some notes and pictures on a few slides and off we went. Su did most of the talking, and quite rightly so, while I operated the slides; and the members said that they liked what they saw and heard. Su said afterwards that she forgot to make cross references to the articles I wrote post trip, but I did mention them to Dominic after the presentation, who vouched that he would read them or re-read them when he got home.
That brings me back to the very subject on which I have been talking or writing for the last few months, namely writing and living. The ultimate sixty-four thousand dollar question is, “To write or not to write.” Once again, I realize that there is no other person except myself that can answer the question. Dominic said emphatically last night that in this day and age, with so much attractions and diversions, so many choices in so many media, and with life and living so hectic and fast paced, one needs to remind people to go to the right page to read what one wants readers to read, or whatever one writes and puts up will definitely go unnoticed.
My immediate response is, “I don’t write for these people,” but which begs the question even before I could finish the answer, “Why then you write?” to which I would say lamely, “I write because I want to write.”
I have said before that writing requires discipline and motivation. I notice recently that even Tom Hanks has been writing; and I said to myself that maybe I should start learn acting. It is obvious – at least obvious to myself – that I am not sufficiently motivated nor capable of following a writing discipline that would enable me to write on a continuing basis. There are so many things I would like to do, things that had started and couldn’t finish, such as playing the piano, the guitar or some other musical instruments; I have books that are still in their wrappers and more books with pages yellowed by Nature; and I have boxes and boxes of photographs, a lot obviously have become faded, that needed to be organized and catalogued or identified; and so on.
I told a friend 20 years my junior a few months ago when I became 70 biologically that I wanted to think about my life, or more specifically, what I would like to do in the next 20 or 30 years on the assumption that I would live that long. He said that it was a good idea. What good advice from good friends! I recall telling myself in the year 2003 when I left my last or only one paid job of my life that I would not do anything active for at least one year so as to allow ideas to sink into the mind. Well, I have been certainly true to myself, except that I have taken slightly longer than one year for that occupation and I am still no further than where I started from.
Back to the Nepal Trip Presentation last night, Ted specifically asked me whether I would do it again. My response was, “I did not ask to go on the last one,” and I went on to talk about my Trailwalkers experience, which began as a Rotary Club project, believe it or not. It does seem that I am now activity driven in my present life style. I am never short of things to do. I’d like to believe that I am not unhappy and that I am often surrounded by friends, new and old, and old and young. I have learn to find happiness in simple things and from simple routines, and I have no time to make enemies.
On that note, I wish all of you out there a Happy Thanksgiving coming up and a mindful preparation for the next Advent.