May 2007

I am reading the Book of Zhuang Zhi, to satisfy my curiosity about philosophical Taoism. By all means I’m not reading it fast; I want to take in what I read and ponder on it a bit. I’ll post here what it makes me think of.


Greetings, I’m the Wondering Wanderer. This blog will be the place where I’ll accumulate my reflections as I come by them, for me to give shape and ponder, and for you, if you care, for commenting. As for why, since there are so many blogs acting as doubt dumps, well, let me explain. It goes back a long time.

You see, a friend of mine once told me that he thinks that life is like a journey, and that a good traveller knows where he starts and where he finishes his journey. From this he went on to determine that it is right and good to commit suicide, because that’s how a traveller through life determines the end of his journey. I haven’t seen him in a long, long time and I wonder if he still thinks like that. He was sober when he told me this, and didn’t look like he was joking. But joking or not, I have remembered this remark all of this time, and pondered on it.

I agree with my friend that life is (or should be) a journey. But I don’t believe that it’s a journey from Point A to Point B. Life is an exploration, and each of us should be a wanderer out to see new places and new sights. But you can’t fully appreciate what you see, and even less learn from it, if you don’t have a sense of wonder. That doesn’t mean spending all of your time going Ooooh and Aaaaah, because, as my father says, when you keep your mouth open too long flies can flutter in. It also doesn’t mean that you should be as a child in spirit (or be in touch with your inner child, or similar things); children are far too often selfish and cruel in the pure way of a tiger, because they haven’t learned compassion yet.

In our voyage through the wilderness of life, we meet other travellers. We can wave and move on, or just pretend not to see, but isn’t that a waste? And yet, we do it so often. Anyone’s travel is unique, as similar as it can be to someone else’s, and there’s so much more to discover and marvel at – notice how I don’t say learn, even though there’s much to learn as well, but we’re not at school, right?

So this is what I’m trying to do in this blog: not to dump the underappreciated fruits of a logorrhoea of the keyboard, but to set out and explore, and meet other travellers. Shall we voyage together for a while?

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
(William Blake)