6.23 AM Melbourne. Early Saturday Morning. The temperature outside is 14. It will be a cold day. For the past many months this has been my regime. I do it not because I am an early riser, but, this time of the morning and late at night, are the very best of times for me to do work on steadyaku47. Late nights and very early mornings takes a toll on my physical and mental health...and this morning it took me a while to bring myself to speed, writing wise.... but reading what Harris wrote "Ah, what price this beast called activism" fired me up! Harris wrote:
"By the time the 13th GE had come and gone, I had been in full time activism and without any income for almost 2 1/2 years, having ceased legal practise at the end of 2010, getting by on savings. This situation continued until June, 2014.
It took a heavy toll on my health, my relations with my family given the limited time I spent with them, and my personal finances.
Doctors who I have come to regard as dear friends have been attending to my health issues and continue to do so to this day.
And whilst continuing my activism, albeit with changed strategies post the 13th GE, I made efforts to spend more time with the family, especially my kids. Ask them and they will say it has not been enough. They are right. I can only pray that, in time, they may understand why I have made these difficult decisions, and to find it in themselves to forgive me.
The state of my personal finances was of greater concern because of the pending sedition charge. Towards the latter part of 2014, with the charge set for trial in February, 2015, the sense, then, was that assuming a conviction was a foregone conclusion and taking into account any appeals that would be heard, I should expect to spend Christmas in Sungai Buloh.
I was prepared to face that".
Of course what I go through is no where close to what Harris has already gone through in these last few months and what he still has to go through in the coming months as incarceration looms......but I have an inkling of what he, and many others, has endured in the name of activism.
You see Harris and people like him (and do allow me to include myself on the fringes of these activists) do what they do in spite of the other things that also asks much of us : our family and the need to earn an income to feed them and ourselves....and more often than not, we have to make choices in pursuing these needs. Go read what Harris in "Ah, what price this beast called activism" and you will understand better what I mean.
These last few days the same melancholy has gripped me.
Am I spending to much time on my blog at the expense of care and companionship for my wife. Even as I write now, my wife is but a few feet away from me, asleep in her bed. My writing desk, by design, is beside her bed. And if , during the day, she happens to be in the living room while I am writing in our bedroom, she is still not more that ten steps away from me...so why the melancholy? Why the guilt?
Simply said, more often than not, I get lost in my writing world. Sometimes I write to the exclusion of everything else...including the needs of my wife and time spent with her....and having to pull myself away from working on my blog to be with her makes me aware that there is a choice that I have to make between the two. Too often these thoughts haunts me because at 69 (me) and 72 (my wife) there is not that much of life left for us to be with each other.
And so I think...what should I do?
I hope, in the fullness of time, this "beast" that Harris writes about can be tamed to allow me and many others, to have no guilt in spending too much time in "satisfying" that beast....but if it ever came to be a choice between the "beast" and my other half, that choice would be easy to make - my other half surely will win.
Until that time, let the "beast" and what is left of my life now, live with each other the best way it can. If it means very late nights and many early mornings, so be it. Nescafe helps. You all reading what I write helps. Reading what Harris, Sarawak Report and many others writes, also helps....so let us all pull together and let the "beast" live within us.
There is still much work to be done before there is no more need of that "beast" to dwell within us.