If I was Gregor Samsa…

March 17, 2010

Over the past few days, my English classes have been exceptionally exciting. We embarked on the Kafka journey – The Metamorphosis. I once read this book prior to this unit in middle school. Yet, when I read it recently as a high school student, it was so new to me. The deep messages or morals, allegory, symbolism, and other literary devices are sheer pièce de résistance. (I learned this word from my fellow French student last week or so. It means masterpiece). It is just awe striking to see a short novel packed with heavy literary devices – especially, symbolism.

I was so immersed into this piece of art (I should refer to it as a masterpiece!) that often times before I go to bed, I imagine myself as Gregor Samsa. Gregor is the protagonist of The Metamorphosis, who apparently transformed into “a monstrous verminous bug” on the first chapter – not to mention that it was the first line. My consciousness never allowed me to go to sleep without thinking about Gregor.

Because Gregor discovered his “new form of body” in his bed, I’m afraid to discover my “new form of body” in my bed. Although I’m a huge fan of biology, and I’m fond of nature, I cannot stand bugs. I’m innately born to despise them. So this “genetic” trait (I firmly believe that it is in my genes (hate-bug-gene) because my brother hates them more than I do) would make my life very difficult to a degree where I might kill myself at the first sight of my “new limbs.” All the complex organs – which I will constantly refuse to see– will change my appetite, and hence I will lose my only comfort. Food gives human comfort and joy, except for anorexic patients as far as I know. Also, if I am unable to go to school, talk to my parents, and even talk a short walk around my house vicinity, I will most definitely go insane.

Insanity? Would that be it my metamorphosis? If I think of the situation more seriously, I will find myself completely lost. I will lose everything – the reasons why I live. In short, I will be disabled. Disabled to work, disabled to eat, disabled to sleep – and hence I will be disabled to live. Working prevents an individual from excruciating boredom, and eating keeps one physically alive. Sleeping is necessary to recharge energy. If I lose all my privileges as a human being or just an organism, I will not be able to survive for long. Now that I take his situation to heart, I feel sorry for Gregor Samsa, the one who had to experience the unwarned metamorphosis.

* This is a film version of The Metamorphosis. Although Gregor is not physically transformed, I think this clip depicts major themes, and the general tone very articulately.

The Present

March 7, 2010

There is a famous saying:

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.

Agree. I cannot go back in time and fix my mistakes that happened yesterday, and that is why humanity is imperfect. We cannot fix the time of Holocaust, and we cannot thwart it from happening. History is unchangeable. Everyday, I repent myself for making mistakes – thousands of mistakes. But I have to  get a way with it sooner or later, because fear, doubts, and regret will never do me good. The fact that life does not bestow an eraser makes it hard for humanity to live perfectly. We cannot re-design the past – we don’t have the eraser. (I guess I’m not the only one who thinks this way).

Although we do not possess the eraser, we have a blank paper to compensate for our mistakes. No body knows what is going to be written on the flawless blank paper. It provides a strong incentive for flawed people to hope for a day with less errors. Errors are inevitable, but making fewer mistakes is possible. I am one of the millions of people who crave for another day, another chance. Nonetheless, I cannot be preoccupied with mysteries – they are unsolvable. Mysteries will take away the joy in the most significant moment, the present. Hence, we have to be faithful to what we are doing, right now.

Today – the present – is the greatest chance to design my day. We should be thankful for living just another ordinary day; it is a chance that is given to humans who want to live. Feeling every single heartbeat, and breathing in all the world’s fragrance, I realize that I just got another present.

*This is an inspiring video I found on Youtube; it clearly nails down the importance of time, and our “present.”