Fearing stupidity and senility

I don’t know why I felt like I needed to take a break after returning to Singapore (last Thursday). It’s not like my time in Korea was particularly hectic.

In fact, while in Seoul, we spent many idle days just lazing indoors, sleeping till afternoon, some days only going out for food at 10 pm.

Somehow, no matter what you do, just being overseas is enough to tire you out.

As a side note, I often felt fatigued in Seoul, maybe because the cold weather induced in me some strange amphibian instinct to hibernate.




Anyway, it’s good to be back in familiar territory, although I can’t help but miss Seoul. I definitely want to go back again, which is why I’m learning the language now, using two self-study books I bought there.

I’m having trouble memorising the vocabulary. My memory isn’t as good as it once was.

I am reminded of this photographer who was recently featured in Time Magazine for his photo journal chronicling the final years of his senile father’s life.

It’s really touching. You can see a preview of his book here: Days With My Father.


Days With My Father


I’m quite scared of senility. But I told Kay that he’s going to turn senile faster than me because I play games and he doesn’t. Haha.

Playing games (the right kind) is really good for the mind. I hope I will have the eyesight to continue playing games till the day I die.

Okay, so I’m scared of failing eyesight more than senility.

Humans are really fragile, right? I’m more scared of growing old and having my body malfunction bit by bit than of death itself. So I don’t think I want to live too long.




Which reminds me.

Kay has this habit of stopping in his tracks and picking snails off walkways and putting them under bushes where they can’t get stepped on.

He’s always admonishing them as he does so.

“Why must you be so stupid to keep walking right out into the open to get crushed by human feet? Why can’t you just stay put where it’s safe?!”

As much as I am touched by his compassion for snails, I can’t help but be concerned.

I’d say, “Are you sure you’ve put them in the right spot? What if they have just spent the last two hours travelling from there and now you’ve put them right back where they started and they have to do it all over again!”




“Why do they even need to go anywhere? It won’t do them much good if they’re killed in the process,” he’d say.

“They need to migrate, just like any other creature.”

“Then they should just find safer routes and not walk right into the middle of pavements!”

In any case, these conversations (I’ve seen him “rescue” about five snails so far) make me feel very sorry for snails. And for lifeforms. Any lifeforms. Even humans. Because you can always see some absurdity in life, no matter what species you are.

For instance, we get so caught up with our concerns, needs, wants and emotions every day as if they’re the most important thing in the world. We fight with people. We get angry. We rant and rave. And then, suddenly, we’re 80 years old and dead.

And everything seems silly in retrospect.




We’re as stupid as snails, then, to venture out into the world knowing we will get hurt. Even if we manage to get to our destinations unscathed, we die eventually, anyway.

So, that’s absurd.

And that is why my philosophy in life has always been to enjoy the moment for itself and continuously create moments of happiness and fulfillment, avoiding as much as possible unpleasant situations.

So that, even if I were to step outside and get run over by a car now, I wouldn’t feel stupid to have lived in vain.

Coincidentally, this week’s Star Blog topic seems to be along this theme. So I shall end this piece with a link for further reading:

My experience of the perfect day




Have a great week ahead!

7 thoughts on “Fearing stupidity and senility

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    Thanks! Beautiful post. My thoughts too. But sometimes it is hard to let go of anger and I’m learning to forgive too. And like you, I’m afraid of losing my memory sometimes. My grandma is losing her short term memory but she has her happy memories intact and still it scares me. And on the topic of eye sight, I’m getting lasik done in 3 days. I’m praying hard that I’ll get perfect eye sight by the time I see you in Jan. Miss ya!

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    my husband & i do that with the snails too… :)
    however, we do bear in mind to put them in the direction that they were heading to… i know its weird…. hehe

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    Wow! that started off so random and got sooo DEEP. The way you compared the absurdity of human life with the snail is special, its the kind of thing you read in books by richard bach or paulo coelho.

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    …this incessant stubborn dying,
    this living death,
    that slays you, oh God,
    in your rigorous handiwork,
    in the roses, in the stones,
    in the indomitable stars
    and in the flesh that burns out,
    like a bonfire lit by a sound,
    a dream,
    a hue that hits the eye.

    …and you yourself,
    perhaps have died eternities of ages out there,
    without us knowing about it,
    we dregs, crumbs, ashes of you;
    you that still are present,
    like a star faked by its very light,
    an empty light without star
    that reaches us,
    its infinite catastrophe.

    -Jose Gorostiza

    p.s. Thanx for sharing your insites. Unique and Wonderful

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