Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Question With Honesty.

Was at Maria's house 2 Tuesdays ago. It was pot-luck lunch. The spread was good as always at pot-lucks. Was the first time I met Elviza, Galadriel and Mat Salo. Maria's house is a pleasant and comfortable home. The ceiling is so high it was airy inside. We don't get houses built like this these days. What caught my attention was the numerous books all over the living room. There were even books on the coffee table that you'll find difficulty finding a space to place your cup.
Feasting my eyes on all the books around, one book captivated my attention. It was an autobiography by Sidney Poitier titled, 'The Measure Of A Man'...a spiritual autobiography. He was the first 'black' actor to win the Academy Award for his performance in the movie entitled 'Lilies of the Field' in 1963.
A week later, I got hold of a copy of this book and started to read...and read...and read. Its a powerful book. The opening chapter was what kept me reading. I was stunned. A man like Sidney Poitier, rich and famous could feel like how he described in the first chapter of his book. To paraphrase, he was relating the boredom that had crept in one late night. So bored was he, he sat in front of the TV set, like so many of us today, and scrolled every channel from 1-97 and found nothing that interest him. Below is what he said in the next para.
'But then I had the audacity to go up again! ( was referring to scrolling up the channels again). And what do I find? Nothing. So at last, filled with loathing and self-disgust, I punch the damn TV off and throw the clicker across the room, muttering to myself, 'What am I doing with my time?'
It is not as if I'm without other resources or material comforts, you follow? I've been very fortunate in life, and as I lie in my bed, I'm surrounded with beautiful things. Treasured books and art objects, photographs and mementos, lovely gardens on the balcony. After many years in this particular business in this particular town, I have a rich network of friends, some only a few steps away, dozens of others whom I could reach on the phone within seconds.
So what am I doing with my time?
Seem strange though. Sidney Poitier, with all the titles, accolades, accomplishments could still ask this searching question, 'What am I doing with my Time?'. As if he has not done enough. Not achieved enough. Not done enough..of what!
I have not achieved a fraction of what Sidney Poitier has accomplished, yet I never ever asked this question with honesty, 'What am I doing with my Time?'
If you wish to know what Sidney Poitier did in the end, get a hold of this book and read it. You'll never regret it. Or wait for my next posting.

9 comments:

J.T. said...

I'll wait for your next posting for the continuation. :)

A very good question. I know what I do from day to day as a housewife but I am looking at it from another point of view - what productive or positive thing am I doing with my time?
To feel that I have achieved something, I need to do something fulfilling. I am working on it. :)

elviza said...

Oh my God TONY!!! The same thing happened to me that day.

I saw this book on Kak Ton's coffee table titled "An Affair to Remember." Read few pages, was really intrigued but to shy to borrow it from Kak Ton.

That night I wasted no time, I forced my husband to drive me to KLCC, rushed to Kinokuniya and got hold of the book.

Despite the high price tag, I got it nonetheless (courtesy of mastercard, hahahahaha!).

Finished the book in two days. Now I am off to find this book you recommend - Sidney Poitier.

The pleasure of meeting you last week was all mine my friend.

Take care. Errr, sorry this is a bit long!

stand-up philosopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stand-up philosopher said...

Comment above was deleted cos I sent the wrong comment to the wrong post hahaha.....magang already la.

stand-up philosopher said...

Hi JT,
I see a common factor in almost all great people. They never stop at achieving more until their last breath. I guess that's what separates the ordinary from the extra-ordinary.

stand-up philosopher said...

Hi Elviza,
Most of my books that I've read are those that I see lying around peoples houses or people reading in cafes or LRTs. If someone is giving their full attention to a book, I think it deserves my attention as well.

eva's haven said...

dear anthonio,

a house full of books, huh? my kind of house.
yes, i have read the book. we all can find ourselves in sidney poitier's story.

thanks for bringing me back.

stand-up philosopher said...

Hi Eva,
The last time anybody refered to me as anthonio was over 25 years ago. I must say its refreshing though to hear that name again.
Thanks for dropping by.

Slimlim said...

'What I do today is important, because I will never have today again'

This was a quote from a story on that I received over the email and it is so relevant to your posting on "time".