Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thinking about Writing on a Foggy Early-Winter Morning

Cheers to Life on a Foggy Morning 

On this wonderful last day of the week, as I sit imbibing an esemplastic melody consisting of the metallic ectophony of a drill-machine, the infinite trismus of pigeon and squirrel chirrups, the occasional bellows of children and traffic noises, I cannot help but wonder about the prospect of winter. As the seasons change, the world sheds down its old gabardine and embraces the new, the latter, the youth, and the younger. And in between these changing seasons comes a time when we dance between two binaries, when the world still holding the seasonal variations of the last cycle injects in its vein the fluid of the new. It is that time of the year that interests me most. I sit here and observe the magic of that world before me. Abluted by warm-cool sunshine the conical and flat-tops of the buildings stare at me with sleepy eyes. The clump of red flowers at a distance seems to exude scarlet aura and my cold, soon-to-be evacuated balcony is littered with the dead and alive foliage. It’s beautifully calm here; the puzzles of life seem meaningless at this point. What matters are the words that cloud my head, little flowers they are too, short-lived. Every day I wake up and anticipate their arrival on my page, and when they finally come, I too like the changing season shed off all my inhibitions, worries and old tensions and plunge into their newness. From this momentary rendezvous with the new, I extract the fugacious joy that a writing life can offer. It is often difficult, nay impossible, to talk about writing, but on this morning the mind speaks only that lingo. After a hiatus of a few days the tongue is getting used to words and the morning is marvelous because of that. There is nothing more beautiful that letters forming words, than words forming sentences, and sentences forming paragraphs. The whole effect is somewhat like the unified misere of the world I hear consisting of a thousand disparate sounds striking as one synthesized hum. Today that hum in my head is the most beautiful melody I hear. The sigh of relief that escapes me as I see the words getting to know their neighbors is stupendous. It’s very easy to lose focus, to be swayed by advice that writing is a lame profession always dwelling in obscurity and uncertainty; nevertheless, the joy that a page of self-written sentences offer is greater than a monthly check of several thousand dollars.

I guess writing in many ways is indeed a lonely profession, as Hemingway said, because until you are walking away from the mediocrity of a society always ready to sway you from taking an unfortunate plunge into a future-less writing life, you don’t realize how much, just how much you love your avocation despite the contingency that our talents may not actually flourish in future. But, in spite of that, we will not let ourselves be dismayed and choose a different and more pedestrian profession. Maybe some of us are meant to struggle and produce fiction that matter to none, maybe we don’t care if poetry indeed declines with the advancement of civilization, maybe our contribution to the world are a few stray pieces that are lost as soon as they are produced; but still our figments of imagination are our world. They are the children of two extremes born in the womb of limbo that dwells between the expectations of the world and our personal ambition as writers. Having said that, I don’t think many of us would even care to dream about a glossy future full to the brim with bestsellers. I know I don’t. I live from fiction to fiction, from story to story, and still I consider myself one of the happiest persons I know. Shorn of high-flown ambitions, I care only about the page I write, and if it satisfies me, I know I will be happy for a long time thinking about that worthless page of written words. It is difficult to convince people who don’t live a creative life that the pleasure and pain of creativity is something indescribably appealing. It’s a fascination that attracts you more than a luscious lover; in fact it is a lover for life whose many facets we discover as we grow old with it.

This morning the sunshine seems so bright, the bright winter clothes crucified in my neighbor’s clothesline bathe in awesome hue, the flapping of a pigeon’s wing so much like the beat of a heart, and to think that on this busy weekday when people are heading for their cubicles, I get to enjoy them makes me feel blessed. I know this feeling of beatitude is momentary and that it will wane once I head into my house and partake of my other responsibilities of the day, but why not indulge in carpe diem when you can afford it. Right now, I think people become unhappy when they extricate themselves from their passion. And that is where negativity steps in to ruin lives. I know I am being hopelessly philosophical this morning, but my all-knowing mind is trying to convince me that there is no other life for me apart from writing, and a writer I shall strive to be come what may.

The writing work of the day being done, I have a delicious book to read now over a cup of warm coffee. The book in question is Hemingway’s treatise on writing, and I look forward to what the master has to say about his art. I always thought Hemingway was rather reticent when talking about writing was concerned; I wonder what advice he will give to an amateur hopelessly smitten with the scripturient life.  I hope to write another post next week where I shall discuss about this book and other thoughts that I occasionally get. I don’t know if anybody reads my musings, but if you do, I thank you for your silent encouragement and wish you too would pursue your passion and not give in to the demands of a mediocre life. We always have the choice to adopt mediocrity, but it’s better to avoid it, if you can help it.