End contemplation, part two


Is the issue of “exile” still relevant?

The end of this project is not only imminent because I have typed and written enough pages for the result to be called a “book”. I believe (perhaps because I really want to believe) that I now have a better understanding of how things work than was the case ten years ago. I have identified some principles I believe are valid for all people, and across all time. None of these insights or principles are original. It was nevertheless important that I sorted them out for myself, in my own time, and put them in my own words. I now have a more sophisticated appreciation of my own name (so to speak), and I have developed a vague idea of how I fit into the mass of life outside my apartment door.

Is the issue of exile, so central to the “story” of this project, still relevant, though? Is it still important that I go “home”?

This project has undergone an evolution. I did not originally undertake the writing process with the idea of a book as an end result. All I knew was that I wasn’t sure about certain things in my life, and that it helped to write things down. To write is also a good way to spend long days and nights productively if you tend to avoid the world outside your front door. Writing has been, and remains, my main source of entertainment, in addition to the fact that it takes me from point A to point B in matters of the soul.

Likewise, I did not force this second round of exile [after the first one in Korea] on myself for the purpose of finding answers to questions. This project began as scribblings in notebooks and on scrap paper, and as letters to friends and family. My journey to Taiwan began as the best route out of an office job and servant’s quarters. But what do you do when certain questions impose themselves on you, or even worse, when a book knocks on the inside of your skull, and “exile” turns out to be the only way to deal with them?

Am I, for the third time, still in exile? Do I still need to go home?