State of the Noodles

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

One year ago, on a warm August evening, I set out to put my skills to creative use. One of the drawbacks to a technical discipline such as the one I am pursuing at the University of Waterloo is the lack of exercise your other skills receive. At one point in time, I was reasonably good at creative writing, and I was a decent story-teller. Over the course of university, though, those skills went into disuse. It was a sinking feeling to sit down to write the occasional report and notice the significant difficulty experienced in formulating a paragraph compared to the last time I wrote a formal essay several months earlier.

Many a man thinks he has an open mind, when it is merely vacant.

I knew I had lost something, and I wanted to get it back. I wanted to reclaim or build anew the whimsical prose I imagined I once had. I wanted to perfect the detailed and almost spiritual way of describing a scene such that the reader can practically feel the paint on the walls and nearly smell the dust in the air. I look at the observational and creative abilities of other online bloggers - blossoming talents expressing themselves on the amateur field - and at the perfected whimsical prose of the idolised professionals, like the late great Douglas Adams, and I revel in their art. Computers and software are my occupational passion, but I don't want to limit myself to a purely technical frame of mind. The creative hemisphere needs to be nourished as well, for one whose mind is lacking in one side's ability cannot realise the full potential of the other.

Wise men talk because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.

I created a weblog, not merely to jump on the internet bandwagon, but to exercise my mind and let it grow outside of an environment bombarded by mathematics and software at school and at work. The journal allows me to simply say what's on my mind. Naturally, I would like each entry to be filled with a certain amount of insightful wisdom, but such pieces are arduous to compose. It's difficult to take hold of the random thoughts that pass through the mind, turn it into something worthy to share, and form it into words to adequately express its nature. Most of my logs simply end up being a recant of the previous day's events, but every now and then, on that very rare occasion, a gem of pure thought works its way into the open, transforms itself into something coherent, and morphs into eloquent prose.

Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.

I would eventually like to get into the practice of writing short stories, but "spare time" always seems to be lacking for such endeavours, and my creative abilities aren't yet nearly at the capacity to attempt such a task. Over the past year, I have written a non-fiction story, an informal essay, and nearly half of a fictional tale still in slow progress. It's not much of an accomplishment, but it's a start to something better. I am by no means a wise old guru, but only good can come from the lifelong pursuit to become one.

It does not matter if you fall down as long as you pick up something from the floor while you get up.

A year has sped past since I first launched my little restaurant of words, and it's an invaluable source for me to look back on the things I have done and the experiences I've had. It's been a year of the good, the bad, and the better, as I've progressed through a work term of fun last fall, through a terribly stressful school term, and through a fun and carefree summer in a far off city. I've learned a host of new things, made plenty of friends and lost a few along the way. The joys I've had have helped me to stay optimistic of the future. The troubles that have come my way have taught me to cherish the good that remains. This summer far away from home has showed me the opportunities and wonders of the world outside my regular sphere of influence, and yet at the same time it has given me a better appreciation for the wonders that have always been around right at home. The sum total of a year's worth of life has made me a stronger, wiser, and hopefully better person.

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

Of course, it certainly isn't close to being over yet. There are still more logs to write, more stories to create, more life to live, and more fun to be had. I maintain this corner of the web for my own growth and enjoyment, and I'm willing to share that with anyone who has an interest.

It's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like it's too much; my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. But then I remember not to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain, and I feel nothing but gratitude for every waking moment of my stupid little life.

There's a lot of good in the world, and there's a lot of joy in finding it in its hiding places. Rest assured that for each piece I find, there will be a steaming hot cup of soup to go with it for you to enjoy.

Sane Person Undercover

(C) 2000-2003 David Faria