It’s an unusual feeling for me to not have anything to write about. I always have something to say, something that I am feeling far too strongly too contain it in my mind without having to put it in words, almost compulsively and that’s not a secret.
Despite that, the only words that I have written since 7th of May are my to-do lists which partially contains piled up tasks from the past week that keep moving forward day after day – unchecked, untouched, briefly looked at.
Of course I have written other things, too – such as – emails, and random words doodled, destroying pages of a notebook I recently re-discovered lying around in a cardboard box, with things I thought were burnt or thrown, reused or decomposed at least a decade ago. I found 5 slam books, filled with names of people I haven’t heard in a decade – some faces forgotten, some friendships tossed off in a place of my mind which is labelled “residue” and some simply faded exactly like the glitter pens they used to fill the slams with. Some, of course, carefully preserved, and some, painstakingly piled up – just like the tasks that I have penned down, over and over for a week or more – simply because I cannot finish them, and I must. Mustn’t I?
There is a list of things that I need to do but I cannot, soaringly out of plain burden they seem to me, or they feel unimportant, or socially constructed pageants that make you feel for a fleeting moment that all these years that you have put to work are worth it, but 4 seconds later, they don’t matter. Some things are hard to do till the point to approach them, and some things are like putting yourself to fail. One of the things amidst many others that cross my mind at this point is –
An online news publication that wrote to me, they want to feature me and my achievements, hear my thoughts on how Covid 19 is going to take a toll on the world. Now, there are 11 questions [but feel like 110] that I probably know the answer of – and yet, every time I open that doc that I have neatly pasted the questions on, formatting in the font style that comforts my heart, just so I can put myself to answer those questions – I cannot type a word.
The whole process feels far too self-indulgent.
I wasn’t this person before, you know. I was confident, almost to a level of narcissism, but self-praise [disagreeing to the popular belief] has suddenly started to look like an act of low awareness – how can I be okay with knowing only so little when there’s a whole universe to learn about – it is humbling, indeed. I can hardly fathom if it limits me, or shows me that there is no limit. Can I really answer these questions, act like I have achieved it all, when I have only begun my journey? Should I be flattered? How do I put myself to answer those questions before answering these existential ones, you tell me?
Last 17 days,
I wondered how long could I go on without writing, and I felt that I was doing okay, in fact. Gradually, it started to feel like someone broke my heart, like there is a missing piece, like I was in a need of a very long, warm hug.
I had a long day at work, and also had a client session with a person who has recently started therapy with me, so I was fairly tired. I didn’t think I needed anything except lying down in bed at 7:30 in the evening and not feel the slightest of worry for a bit… So I opened WhatsApp, I opened Telegram, I opened Prime, I opened Netflix, and casually swiped away to different apps until it struck me that I needed to do something that was beyond distractions. I just didn’t know what.
This peculiar memory from 2011, first year of my college days, flashed. Writing, for me, is therapeutic. It is like looking at myself in the mirror, just seeing more than you thought you would. How every single time I felt this missing piece at midnight, back then, same way I feel today, I’d always start to write a new post on my old blog, without a single thought in my mind.
How and why did that change when I grew up?
I guess because there’s so much at stake now. Back then I was merely a girl trying to put words together so I could feel light. Now, there’s more conditioning, there’s more to deal with, putting out there to the public eye and being vocal about how you feel – it all seems so risky.
The simple joys of life, like writing, has become such a serious act. Probably, because back in those days, I didn’t think there was anyone reading it. Over a period, letters and emails started to emerge, and to know my words were making a difference made me feel responsible and accountable to what I chose to share.
I collected myself and contained my feelings and shared only that was filtered and processed, and as much as my thoughts were still raw, there was a certain amount of fear that some kid sitting at their home reading this, must not get disheartened reading what I share. But is that fair, now I want to ask myself.
Is it really my responsibility as a writer to protect oneself or another from the reality after all? How do I redeem myself as a writer who’s only work as an artist is to put words to feelings without a bias – leaving it natural, like wet mud after light showers of rainfall, or strong frisky wind in the village at dawn, or dew drops on car glass on a winter morning.
Nature doesn’t worry about consequences, does it?
I don’t know, I really don’t know.