Sunday, January 01, 2017
Day 1: Eternal Return
Before yesterday, I didn't know Singapore had a thriving writing community. I found myself in Tiong Bahru at a bookstore called, "BooksActually" holding a poetry book called, "We kept eating expired things," and asking myself why I have not been here all my life. Of course, the question is no longer relevant, for the fact is I was there, with books of poetry and fiction in my bag, and that is all that matters now. I should go back there one day, maybe next month or next year, maybe sooner than later. Yet, since I believe in Nietzsche's Doctrine of Eternal Return, Tiong Bahru, Singapore, is a place that I have probably been to in a past life and probably will return to over and over. I could go through the entire catalogue of fiction and poetry that the bookstore offers or line up for the famous kopi or soya milk or the Hainanese chicken rice in the hawker center, or just walk around and wonder who takes care of the well-manicured trees and how come there are no people on the streets; it doesn't matter what reason there is to come back. One just goes back and leaves in order to come back and leave again. Returning is not about time and space, it is quite surely about the homecoming -- or should it be the home-seeking (?) -- of the soul, a state where the infinite is filled with the repetition of the finite. So, it therefore negates the question to begin with. The question is not why I have never been to Tiong Baruh, rather why I have not remembered to come back. Aye, there's the rub -- I have returned to the place where I have not been to, and it makes perfect sense.