Ranting on Reading

I put off writing this post for some time. I wish to make it less personal, less therapy-esque, less emotional. I couldn’t. So I gave in and write this anyway. Hoping that ranting senselessly will make my next tasks easier, and my heart lighter. We’ll have to see how that works out.

I suppose I will have to start this from what I deem to be a suitable beginning: myself.

Ironically, it was my path to the future that dragged me back to my spirituality. Do not get me wrong, as a Christian church member I try to dot all my i’s and cross my t’s. I remember God. At least every Sunday when I sit in Church from 9-12 in the morning. But my dream, and the road I’m taking to get there has made God a daily part of my life.

And no, this is not meant as a religious or spiritual post. This is a rambling about how everyday became difficult enough that meditation becomes a need. This is a rambling about how difficult my path to my dream has become that I have to start my day by chanting the first part of the famous ‘Serenity Prayer;’
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

The reason for my spiritual revival is a thick 800-pages book by P.J. Drooglever, the Act of Free Choice. In the course my six-year study of history, no book has been more difficult to read. The reason is not because it is boring or jargonistic, but because reading the book is impossible without getting personal. So far I’m only half through the books, but I already have two blogpost as proof of how it affects me. And none of them are reviews. I have a feeling before I finish this book I will have more rants I’m dying to post.

Reading Drooglever’s book affects me emotionally. Everytime I read it I feel like I’m being punched on my gut. I’m one of the losers, as I’ve written in my previous post.  In the conflict of Indonesia vs Netherlands on Papua as scrutinized by Drooglever in this book, Papuans are not involved and Netherlands lose. Yet everytime I read this book and think of everything around me, it seems like we (Papuans) ended up with the short end of the stick. Reading this book is walking through the process in slow-motion, and affects me unlike seeing an accident including a loved one in slow motion.

I want to be a historian. I want to be a historian writing on my own people. The losers. And this means comprehending the historical process leading to the mess we presently live in. But these type of knowing is never enough to overcome emotional impacts. Thus as I read, I read every single subchapter with a possibility of tears. Tears of frustration. Tears of anger. Tears of regret.

And even in tears, I cannot stop myself from wishing. Wishing we were winners and live well now. Wishing the historical process stopped. And finally, finally, just wishing I have enough power to detach myself emotionally and simply continue reading. In the effort to continue reading, I turned the act of reading this history book into a spiritual act, and still continuously chant in the back of my head ‘serenity, courage, wisdom.’



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