If I were to categorize this post, I’d say this is one of my Just Talking posts… with a dollop of Envelope Pushing hidden inside the folds.
The first reason I write is for Decanting. I need the solace it provides. I need the space it creates within me… by emptying out the junk that accumulates in the unfrequented corners of my inner space. You collect unusable stuff despite your constant vigilance, since you know yourself to be a veritable magnet for all kinds of interesting stuff. It is the natural consequence of living in the midst of people, specially for a person like you. You collect stuff. That’s you. There is no escape from that. And the truth is, why should there be? It is interesting stuff that adds those exhilarating quirks to your otherwise dull days. I wouldn’t change me for anything on earth.
But… one must go on an exorcizing spree every once in a while. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes say once, “The mind is like an attic. If you store useless facts in it, you clutter up the space and no longer have room to store what is important and pertinent.”
[Pl forgive me, I quote from memory and I am NOT in the mood to Google this ok? If there are inaccuracies in the quote, don’t send me a package containing RDX. Please don’t. I need to live at least for a few more years. Think about my little kids…!]
So, yes, I write to decant. But then that’s what all of them say. Lets peel another layer here.
I’ve always been a loner. I know you might find this a tad macabre but I have always looked forward to spending time alone with myself… from the time I was 4-5 years old. On the rare occasions when my mom had afternoon classes (she was a Professor in a college), I used to dance with glee in my heart (while maintaining a dead pan without… yes I am naturally talented that way), at the thought of having me to myself. The longer the duration, the better it was. I’d potter about the house pulling out forbidden stuff. And I LOVED to read the novels my mom had.
Alistair Maclean, Agatha Christie, Earl Stanley Gardener. I don’t know why I didn’t read them when mom and dad were around. It isn’t as if they were forbidden or anything. I am sure my mom would have been more than happy to let me immerse myself into them. I can’t imagine why I didn’t. I think it might have been because secrecy lends an allure even to the most mundane tasks and elevates them to the level of fantastic. I guess I was always a glutton for Fantastic. Insatiable appetite for it is more like it. And when doesn’t find enough coming one’s way, one goes out and manufactures some. Specially if one were a nut like me and a big fan of DIY to boot.
When one spends long hours alone… in an era when there was no television and the radio had very limited hours of broadcast… one gets accustomed to soliloquizing a great deal. I always had I, me and myself in my head. The Good One, the Impossible One and the Judge. The Impossible One would be the smart ass who’d say things like: Lets poke a finger into the electric outlet, turn on the switch and see what happens..! I need hardly tell you how the Good One would be horror stricken and how the Judge had to sort out the argument. Even as I type this, the Good One is sulking with the pain of a remembered slight. She remembers that she lost… the silly fool. That silly fool remark was from the gloating Impossible One. You see, the Judge proved ineffective and the motion was carried out… so to speak. Talk about a nasty shock..!
Damn… I digress ALL over the place don’t I…? Back on track you two… and stop bickering for God’s sake…!!
Writing is one way I have of ignoring the babble of the two of them. When I write I tune them out. Their arguments become White Noise for me. This gives me a chance to notice a few things. It gives me the space to stand straight and look ahead. When one stands tall and looks ahead, one is able to see beyond the swamp of the current crisis. You need to do that so that you will find a way out of it before it sucks you into its gooey pit.
Writing gives me chance to introspect. It lets me KNOW what I already know. It gives me the time to accept things which are not only unacceptable but over which the Good One and Impossible One are engaged in a deathly battle. I take that unacceptable thing, look around the space created by decanting, and find a place where it would fit in most snugly. Then I leave it alone. I know time will pour its dust over it and fill up the cracks. With that, the fragments that I am made of, will once more take on the appearance of being a monolith to the world. I will once again look like a highly polished marble face, polished to the high luster of glass, on which no hand hold is possible.
Sometimes, writing is also my medium of voicing my protest. It the only way I have of letting my Shiva know that He is not being fair to me and I DO NOT like what he is dishing out. As Queen Victoria remarked once, “We, are not amused.” I believe in giving brutally frank feedback to stakeholders. It is a grim duty that reminds one that life is not for pleasure alone.
These are the reasons I write. I am certain you approve, yes..?