My War with Chinese


Everyday / Sunday, September 2nd, 2012
This blog has been so neglected of late. It feels like an abandoned child, and so does my writing. I haven’t written anything in months – I wonder why. As a writer, I have never felt the overwhelming intensity to just pour the crass and the crap and the beauty out of living. It’s just never a liberation, but a torture. But a beautiful torture. If I don’t write, I feel there is something that is left undone – a nagging thought that becomes this knife. I feel the same about Chinese.

The past one month or so I haven’t been regular with studying Chinese. A friend’s visit, and my teacher’s busy schedule meant that I have not put the effort in to studying the way I would. And then again, laziness and frustration. Learning Chinese is often like scaling the Great Wall – it just seems a process that has no visible result. I feel like I am knocking at the doors of kindergarten all the time – when can I ever hope to graduate as a university student? I question the whys – there is no reason I should be torturing myself – and the hows – that come with the whys. I have no answers to anything.

And then I throw that wonderful book aside, on a Sunday when I have no reason to throw it aside and spend my evening torturing myself over the hanzi and in the end, I feel more frustrated, knowing that I know so little. Yet, I feel like tomorrow I am going to get back at it – is this what obsession is all about? Is this passion? Or is this mere dogged determination? Not me. I hate pushing myself through anything – but this, the language – I think it’s cast a spell I can’t break out of – it’s a beautiful torture that leaves me with the pain of knowing. That matters. Despite the daily battles.

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