The road to IRRI housing

Hello, my friend,

I want to use this issue to give an update about this newsletter and my future plans for it. But before that, I want to, first, express once more my sincere gratitude to you for taking the time to read this weekly missive. I know that in this day of information overload, spending five minutes or more reading an email from some random unknown guy on the Internet could be a big sacrifice. I am aware of this and I appreciate the attention you are giving my work so much.

This is the 12th issue of Lilim—my last attempt to write a regular newsletter. Three months ago, before we started on this journey together, I expressed my hesitation to start it because of my past failed attempts to maintain a regular publishing schedule. I declared to the world (um, actually just a handful of you who are reading this) that if I fail to keep writing this newsletter every week, I will never start one again. Now, because of calendar reminders (thanks Google Calendar!) and repeating task reminders (thanks Things 3!), I am kept accountable to show up every week and write something for you.

It has been a lot of fun writing stories and essays regularly and complementing these with photographs I take in my daily walks. I have never felt fully expressed in my entire writing life as I am today. What’s more, taking the time to write and revise these essays multiple times a week has helped me hone my voice as a writer. I also came face-to-face with loopholes and unconscious grammar mistakes that I have been making probably for years! There is no better way to get better in writing but to write regularly even if it is just for oneself.

That said, my multipotentialite tendencies are still persistent, and there is so much more I want to do other than writing stories and essays about my walks with philosophical and artistic musings. Right now, I am being called to go back to translating Thoreau’s journal entries, a project I want to see through as a published book. I already have a sizable amount of translations, but there is so much more to do before a manuscript can even start to take shape.

Aside from this, I am once again being called to study the one question that my entire body of work revolves around— “How should I live?” More specifically, I am beginning to feel that I need to spend more time researching and writing about this question, so I can publish essays about it in this newsletter and in my blog.

Because of these recent changes in my artistic inclinations, I have decided to experiment with a new Lilim newsletter format starting next week. I will then call the first 12 issues of Lilim as Lilim Season 1.

The next 12 issues of Lilim will be its second season. In that series, I will still be releasing essays and stories when I have one to share, but I won’t be forcing myself to write one every week. Instead, most Lilim newsletter issues in its second season will contain:

  • a photograph from my photo archives,
  • an insight from myself (gathered from my collection of notes I call Talahardin,
  • a quote that has inspired me in the week, and
  • a question for all of us to ponder about.

With this new format, I expect that you will be able to go through the newsletter in just about three minutes or so. But I am hoping that whatever you find there could affect you much longer than that. A simpler format like this will cut the time I spend preparing the newsletter, and put that extra time into doing research, which I am hoping will improve the essays I will be writing in the future.

Overall, what I am feeling right now is encapsulated in this quote by Emily Carr, a Canadian artist from the first half of the 1900s:

You will have to experiment and try things out for yourself and you will not be sure of what you are doing. That’s all right, you are feeling your way into the thing.

As I try to keep my promise of maintaining a weekly publishing routine, I am less sure of my direction but more open to possibilities. While I am a very, very intellectual person, I like to “feel” myself during these situations—I follow what “feels” good and trust that that will make things okay, if not better. I don’t like to call this an intuitive process—because it is not. It is more like a dance between feelings and careful thought. And the music playing is “trust”. It’s difficult to dance with that tune. But I keep trying.

Anyways, I’ll see you next week with Lilim Season 2. And once again—thank you, thank you, thank you so much for being here. I sincerely hope I can continue to serve you through my humble writing.


Some Random Unknown Guy from the Internet