Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Home Alone

I arrived home at about 8pm last night to a empty house. I passed the library to borrow the William Faulkner audio book - a collection of his short stories. I returned Somerset Maugham's audio book this morning. The styles of both writers are very different. When I try to compare Salman Rushdie's work with both these writers, I have the impression that Salman is more flash and less substance. He is the lesser amongst the three writers but his flashiness do have echoes of greatness. Somerset's novels has a more mature and deeper work. A true classic. But compared to William Faulkner, I think Somerset is a lesser writer.

William Faulkner has a more singular, creative and unique voice from my impression. No doubt Somerset is a great and classic writer but he seems more a workman, a craftsman of writing. It is his subject that makes his works great and no doubt his body of work enriches literature. But Faulkner's work seem to be made of a more higher state, with the voice of a true artist. He speaks of the American South together with Tennessee William's work. They both provide a rich picture although I know Tennessee William's work more from the movies made from his plays starring Marlon Brando. Faulkner is a more difficult work to understand but the construction of his novels is at a more elegant and sophisticated level.

Tonight I have a meeting from 7 to 9 pm in the evening with the support team from Europe. Yesterday I had a meeting with the regional team in Asia. The news from my projects is the reduction of budget. We will deploy to only a few plants in Asia next year. I also had a meeting about the budget with the new guy from project office. I had a loud discussion with him. I often have difficult sessions with him and I sometime think that he is talking down on me. I often have a difficult time talking with the locals. Maybe it's a different perspective which the locals have or I have to improve my communication skills. I admit I have some problem in that department but I think I work hard to try to explain myself clearly.

Now the end game is being played with my impending departure. I started writing this blog about 2 years ago to relive my stress in the coming changes in my life. The picture is clearer today regarding my fate. It was a fate that I would not have thought possible 2 years ago. It is really amazing how things often turn out. But the endgame is also a difficult phase. I expect a lot of obstacles and challenges. I feel more energized these days than previous weeks or months now that my future is known. I think the journey I started with the writing of this blog, searching for work in the Internet job sites, Toastmaster, project management certification and guitar lessons have made me a different person.

As I read about novel writing, the plot or story is about change or transformation of the characters. If there is no change, then there is no story. I often ask myself if there has been a change these past year. I think the change for me will be more physical when I transfer into a new location. I hope the journey would have prepared me for the new challenge. So the story is not yet over for me but only a beginning. I think the transformation for me is to have reached a saturation point - a point where I have revisited my previous haunts, a different and perhaps older person. I think I have aged in my current job where I get to experience my changed perspective when I revisited Thailand and China again and again in my projects.

Regarding my voyage as a writer, I realized so little I have known. My consciousness and perspective is changing as well from the naive dilettante to a more worldly maturity. My writing skills still needs to evolve from self-expression to a more focused and clinical objectivity. Perhaps it is more a move away from self-centeredness. At this point in time, I think I would need to rise above from my indolence and focus more on practical areas. I think now is the time where I will have less time to read but more time for action. Sometimes I feel that this job is like moving to a retirement home but in fact it will be a challenging place where there is no time for naivete but for hard earned experience.

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