what you find in the asking

In 2007, in my last semester in the University, a poetry professor asked us to write 50 questions that we find important. Well, I was checking files in my flash drive just a few minutes ago and found that document. Interesting.

I wonder what my classmates’ questions were. I wonder what other people ask themselves. :)

Some of the questions:

  1. Is there a God, and how much of the stories about Him are true?
  2. Is there an afterlife? What will that life be like?
  3. After we die, will our consciousness remain intact? Will we retain our memories? Will we be able to remember our names, our loved ones’ names, the books we’ve read, the stories we’ve written?
  4. If we won’t remember who we are, then what’s the use of trying to understand the world?
  5. Where did (re: evolution) the first single-celled organism come from?
  6. And where did that thing come from? Where did everything come from? What’s the source of everything?
  7. Does the universe have a boundary?
  8. There is a theory about the universe that says that the universe “has always been”, that it has no beginning. It has always been. Is that true? How is that possible? How can anyone grasp that idea? How can that ever be imagined?
  9. Do we have a soul, meaning something eternal, something distinct from our physical bodies? Or is the thing we call the “soul” just the end product of chemical/electrical reactions in our brains, in other words something still connected to the physical?
  10. Is memory organic? (I’ve read of an experiment where a needle to the brain was able to liberate a patient’s memory of an event) Is the mind different/separate from the brain?
  11. I’ve read somewhere that the second that elapsed after the Big Bang contained a “dark age”. Scientists don’t know what, if anything, occurred within this period. What happened?
  12. Do we have a purpose—something connected to fate (if there is such a thing), something connected to the cosmos—or do we just invent one for ourselves?
  13. If we are just animals, then morality is simply a human creation, a product of our brain’s evolution. Then good/evil is simply a social contract. Then it is a curse, because we feel bad—guilt, grief, sadness—for something—murder, rape, assault—that, as animals, we would have observed without any emotion. Is this correct?
  14. Why are we aware that we are going to die? Animals aren’t. Is that the curse of evolution, too?
  15. Is evil (e.g. finding pleasure in hurting others) innate? Or largely a product of outside forces?
  16. Then how come there are children who are peaceful? Is that trait already in the DNA?
  17. Then who do you blame?
  18. What is the right way to raise a child?
  19. Is politics also just a curse of evolution? If it is, then caring about it is a joke. Is that true?
  20. Caring for anything is a joke, because nothing really means anything. Is that true?
  21. There are people who have lived and died without knowing what has been happening in Somalia, or some other far-off, impoverished place. What is the use of that knowledge then? Is it necessary? Is it necessary to whisper these stories to our kids at night?
  22. What would I have been like if I were able to have piano/violin/voice/dance lessons when I was a kid? Will I think/behave/write differently?
  23. Am I a writer, or am I just fooling myself?

‘see? poetry.’

[6:46 PM]<me> may nipadala friend ko na link sa isang apartelle sa bohol. gusto ko lang ipagpag, natawa ako dito “A villa dramatically anchored on a cliff with spanning view of the sea and the majestic sunset.” sabi ko sa kanya, paano kung hindi siya anchored “dramatically”, malalaglag kaya siya?
[6:46 PM]<me> What if i-try natin siya i-anchor “grammatically” ganyan, or “perilously.”
[6:46 PM]<me> ahahahah bwisit
[6:47 PM]<kate> HAHAHAHAHAH
[6:47 PM]<kate> grammatically ampota
[6:47 PM]<kate> “hanging on by an apostrophe”
[6:48 PM]<me> now there’s poetry
[6:48 PM]<me> shet we should take notes
[6:48 PM]<kate> so conchitina would say
[6:48 PM]<kate> hahaha
[6:48 PM]<kate> troooo
[6:48 PM]<me> ahahha
[6:48 PM]<kate> we should compile our conversations over chat, really.
[6:48 PM]<me> or pwedeng title ng rock album
[6:48 PM]<me> or pangalan ng rock band
[6:48 PM]<kate> tapos let’s pass it off as poetry
[6:48 PM]<kate> by removing both our names
[6:48 PM]<me> oo konting tweaks lang sa line cuts
[6:48 PM]<kate> tapos ang claim natin to fame e surprise poetry siya, ganyan.
[6:48 PM]<me> tapos sasabihin natin, We let space do the talking.
[6:48 PM]<kate> HAHAHAHAHAHa
[6:49 PM]<me> kabog sila dyan bakla
[6:49 PM]<kate> tabi jan high chair
[6:49 PM]<me> pota
[6:49 PM]<me> ahahhah
[6:49 PM]<kate> eto kami, wheelchair naman.
[6:49 PM]<kate> hahahah
[6:49 PM]<me> bakit bumenta bakit bumentaaaaaaa
[6:50 PM]<kate> hindi ko alam te
[6:50 PM]<kate> ewan ko sayo
[6:50 PM]<kate> haha
[6:51 PM]<me> ahahha iba-blog ko to.
[6:51 PM]<me> sabog eh
[6:51 PM]<kate> see?
[6:51 PM]<kate> poetry.

* * *

But really now, High Chair publishes great poetry. Some faves:

Benjamin Paloff’s “Time and Sense”

Christina Mengert’s “Elegy”

Vincenz Serrano’s “How can it be that the sublime can only be approached and never touched”

* * *

I am again in that phase where I believe I can write poetry. Hm. Well. At least it keeps me entertained. I miss workshops.

I need beta testers. Any takers? :)