A 5 a.m. Ode To You

The people very close to me know I am an anxious person. They know that, before any stressful situation, I think of every possible scenario and obsess about the worst one.

So maybe that is why I am up  right now, at 5:31 a.m., thinking about today.

It’s nothing big — just moving everything I own about a mile south. By noon — in six and a half hours — I should have a new home.

I thought about sparing you the scenarios running through my mind but, really, what fun would that be?

The movers might not show up. If they do, they might not find parking. If they do, my stuff might not fit. If it does, the truck might break down. If it doesn’t…

In the past few weeks, I’ve read many pieces about why people should stop posting personal stories online — especially if they are stories without a point. Most of these pieces say that personal stories often serve no public purpose — they are veiled by the idea of dialogue, but, really, it’s just a glorified (and longer) FaceBook status. Some others have said these stories, and feelings, should be conveyed face-to-face. Because readers aren’t responsible for offering feedback — for even caring.

But the last time I was up at 5:31 a.m., I wrote, “Sometimes a writer just needs to write to his readers. Sometimes, a reader does more for a writer — simply by reading — than a writer does for the reader.”

In quantum physics, the outcome of a situation changes once you observe it. In other words, simply by looking at — or measuring — an event, the resolution of that tiny narrative shifts. And it doesn’t have to be visual; no human can see anything that small. Instead, what changes a given situation seems to be the act of reaching out to know something.

That is why, I think, reading and writing are such important concepts. Because, no matter the subject, it is one person trying to communicate with another — often anonymously. And, whether they know it or not, there is a cosmic connection made between the two parties. Because of that, writing is never futile; reading is never passive. But more importantly, writing is never passive; reading is never futile.

So thanks.

4 responses to A 5 a.m. Ode To You

  1. Clint

    Great post, Alvin.

    I wonder how many people who consider themselves writers would also consider themselves obsessive. Even in writing this short comment, I’ve copied the text to clipboard (so I don’t lose it) and delayed filling out my name and e-mail (so I don’t accidentally submit an incomplete comment).

    “writing is never futile; reading is never passive. But more importantly, writing is never passive; reading is never futile.”

    • Alvin Chang

      Hey Clint — I think a lot of writers are obsessive about very similar things. I have that exact same habit of copying everything I post to a clipboard. I do it at least 10 times a day when I write posts for work.

      But, also, I think most interesting first-person writers have a few very transparent flaws — and some less transparent ones, that we subconsciously try to keep hidden. The psychology of that, and what comes through in people’s writing, is so fascinating to me.

  2. grace zaneta

    i read all your stories, and they usually make my day. i’ll be thinking of you and praying as you move! miss visiting you and seeing you in ny!

    • Alvin Chang

      Thanks! The move went well, for the most part. No big disasters.

      p.s. Also, thanks for being my reference 🙂

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