Articulation and Experience

I read an article on Brainpickings some time ago, which contained words of Joesph Brodsky on why it’s necessary to write. In it he says that it’s very important to keep up your writing with your experiences. The more you live, and experience, without writing about any of it, the more experiences keep getting piled up one on each other. Writing is a process, a search, a struggle to make sense of your experiences, as you live them. Without the defining (and probably self-limiting) framework of language, experiences pile up one upon another, mingling into each other, through their still vague, permeable boundaries, and before long, your strongest experiences of some time ago have become strangely undefinable. Even the sand patterns of a big wave don’t last long.

And the farther you move from your writing, the more suspicious you are of your words, and even more of their meaning. Meaning, like a slippery eel, slips away from your mind the moment your words fail you(or vice versa, which has rather been the case with me).

I haven’t written anything(not literally, but it means the same thing more or less) for so long that the devil has got my tongue and goblins my expression. I feel even more a novice to writing than when I started blogging. I remember I was pretty confident in my writing at that time, irrespective of the stuff I wrote(those were exciting times). Now, only incomprehensible monologues comes out. Clarity has been suffocated to death under the crushing weight of images, sounds & words. Chaos reigns supreme. Meaning has slowly evaporated from this bedlam, like uncapped petrol.

Writer’s Block: Version 2.0

Writer’s Block. Wikipedia says Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand.

For me, it’s often not a period, but a blockage that keeps shifting bases in my brain. Only instead of hemorrhage, it causes inability to write, or more correctly, inability to think anything worthwhile to write. But this time, it’s not a hemorrhage. This time it’s a block. The solid, old, writer’s block. And of a different kind. The writer’s block that I’m experiencing doesn’t allow me to write, or even think at length, about things which are personal, abstract, or opinions which are personal to some extent. And I know why this all is happening.

I’m trying to numb the turbulence created in my brain due to some incidents. Now, to stop that wild turbulence from affecting any of my life’s areas and destroy it, I have to try my best to anesthetize it, to numb it down to a state of suspended shock. Even in this endeavor I’m not entirely successful because it is there, always, at all times. I’m ignoring it persistently, focusing on other things in the hope it will go. In my efforts to ignore it persistently, in my efforts to anesthetize the turbulence, the other type of turbulence, the creative turbulence invariably ends up getting anesthetized too. I can’t help it. If I’ve to escape from some personal corrosive incident, I’ve to shut out the whole personal stuff altogether. And this segregation, creates this writer’s block.

It’s okay, completely cool for me to write about books, or music, or mangas if I like. But here, on Prairie Wind, I am at a loss what to write. When I search my mind for already stored topics to be written in future, I find nothing. My brain has quarantined everything away from the conscious. And I don’t know what would have happened if it all had been there. Thankfully it’s not. So basically it’s just emptiness. Words, but no framework to embed them into.

Anyways it looks like I managed to squeeze few words at least through the personal mental block, hehe. I see a fallow period in the coming days. End-semester examinations are coming on swiftly, just 10 days away. They’re much better alternative to occupy my mind with, with all the anxiety, tension and hectic activity.

Attempting to write

Every time I turn to my notepad and ink-pen, a was starts within me. A war between what to write and what’s coming out. A constant struggle between the compulsive desire to fill the pages with hopelessness, dreariness and frustration inside, and a desire to create something hopeful, with colors of life in an attempt to transmit the same colors, same hope inside me.

As I look at the pages, I keep scribbling something, crossing it again and again, doodling, writing forgotten names and commonplace words to fill the gaping blank of the page which demands to be written on.

I write a line, a sentence which keeps coming on in my mind. I still don’t know whether to write prose or poetry. Been writing a lot of poetry lately, but I know the shackles of poetry are too rigid, and I more often than not end up deceiving myself, by ending up with something entirely different from what I had started with. I know I’m bad with poetry.

Still struggling to make sense out of the sentence I had just written, checking the intermittent desire to cross the damned thing and start over again, I compromise with a few sentences. After the compromise, it’s a little easier to go further. Either the compromise ends up destroying the very idea I began with, and I produce a bastard, despised by me, or the compromise spares me and allows me to rebel in a few lines, and I’m spared the shame for my own creation.

Remembering: One year of blogging

Today is 5th February, 2012. A dull Sunday late morning. Even the sun is not in its full glory, hiding behind the clouds. And oddly, someone is playing a flute in the distance, a bit like a novice. Very unusual here. But I am happy, irrespective and independent of all that :). Because today, I’ve completed one year of blogging, starting Prairie Wind on 5th Feb, 2011.

This one year was most remarkable and colorful for what changes it brought into my life, possibly the biggest ever. So many events, so many memories related to blogging and trivia, so many new friendships, new vistas and opportunities.

The story of me starting this blog is not very pleasant and inspiring though. I had already had a playful stint with blogging two and a half years back, in my second year. At that time, I was a certified weirdo. I don’t know what was I thinking, didn’t try to connect to other blogs, didn’t publicize or anything, just wrote the damn thing and posted it. I suppose it went on sporadically for about 9-10 months after which I simply forgot about the blog.

Blogging came back to me less than a year after that. An old friend of mine, with whom I had lost touch recently, and wasn’t on best of terms, started blogging. Though he had started it in December, 2010, it came to my notice in Feb only. Old jealous fool that I am, I was stung to the quick. How could he start a blog, when I’m here, loafing around, after a disastrous attempt at blogging! πŸ˜€ This was just unacceptable to me, and thus started my second innings in blogging which I earnestly hoped would prove to be longer than the first one.

Looking back at that time, at my feelings of outrage, I think that proved to be a blessing in disguise, as it provided the initial thrust, which kept me kicking for about three months. On the face of it, it was just a one-off incident, which was not uncommon for an easily irritable and grudge-holding person like me. But it changed (it may sound a little hyperbolic, but it’s true) the course of my life. If we use Joseph Campbell’s analogy, I was entering the realm of the unknown, leaving the comfort, conceit and stagnation of my ordinary life.

Soon, things started rolling one after the other. Barely 2-3 days after starting the blog, I came to know Mayank Rajput. The obvious rapport soon developed into a great friendship and we’ve been sharing passions for writing, blogging, and all things weird and Aquarian since an year πŸ˜€ :). Here again, Joseph Campbell’s analogy of ‘Wise Mentor/Trusted Friend’ comes to mind, who magically appears on the scene as the journey starts.

First three months of February, March, April were like a roller-coaster ride. I was writing about all things under the sun, getting to know more and more people and their blogs. Met many great guys during that time.

During my internship days in Durgapur, my blogging matured a lot, and my heady excitement of writing like a madman subsided. Also, wrote a series of sketches ‘Durgapur Diaries’ which remain my most-loved and favorite pieces. Came in contact with Monica Verma, had a great time collaborating with her on her project The Forthright. Though I regret we parted ways soon, but I hope to keep in touch with her, and who knows, maybe collaborate again. That time, April to July, was one of the happier times in my life and that also showed in my writing. Lots of humor, wit and light-hearted sketches.

I had started my blog on Blogger, http://mitostargazer.blogspot.com. But soon, WordPress caught my attention and captivated me. I made my literature review blog on WordPress and later Gorky Cafe, but much as I thought about it, I could not decide to switch Prairie Wind on to WordPress. But finally, reason prevailed, and leaving a happy-go-lucky and moderately established blog on Blogger, I relocated Prairie Wind to WordPress. That came about halfway through my one year of blogging, and that marked a radical shift in my approach towards writing. Earlier I used to write a lot more about politics, social issues, humor, entertainment stuff. But I grew more and more detached from all this. I took interest in socio-political scenario, but didn’t have anything much to say to, or any inclination either. The focus got shifted towards, and is still on, abstract writing, pure literature, sketches and poetry. Wrote hell lot of dark stuff in August, September and October, which mirrored, more or less, my mental picture of that time. A slow ascent towards normalcy started in November, especially when I wrote the poem closest to my heart ‘I Write‘. Haven’t written much since then, complete absence in December, some abstract stuff in January.

Discovering blogging is one of the best things to happen in my life, after literature, music and (I think) chess. Also, as I realized, blogging acts as a stress-buster to me. Before blogging, the two and half years of college had been the most turbulent ones. Blogging made this year much much calmer, and calmed me from the inside. Sure there were a lot of adventures, but this time all of them were the good ones πŸ™‚

Due to blogging I met some of the best and most interesting people in my life. Besides Mayank and Monica, Ruhi Sonal, with her amazingly balanced, no-going-over-the-top writing(and I love the rock-steady INove theme on her blog :D). John Coolvart, this boy is a blogging powerhouse. Sumit Nangia, we both share same passion for nature, the abstract, and of course, Manual of the Warrior of Light :). Sampada Chavan, who writes beautifully on literature and often verses, and with whom had some very interesting conversations (one even led to a full-fledged blogpost). Poet and thinker Manohar Kumar, and many more. And though I’m more of an outsider, still the blogging community I’ve seen is very nice. And last, but not the least, the infinite number of jokes, mischiefs and pranks, fake competitions, witty references, awesome incidents and legends built around blogging with friend, wingmate, and fellow blogger Aditya :). (At the time of completing the post, he stormed into my room, snatched the writing pad and threatened to burn my manuscript unless I repent for my ‘sins’ and mention him specifically as my inspiration. Old Bastard :D)

The only slightly bad thing that sometimes come to mind is that, over the year, I’ve gradually become more and more disinterested in writing about personal experiences. This is not out of privacy concerns, but rather too much focus on abstract stuff and attention on form and detail has made me reluctant to write about informal and mundane topics, which I used to write initially and in ‘Durgapur Diaries’, and which a majority of blogger write about (unless they stick to one particular topic or genre). I also have been harboring some thoughts(those with claws and fangs) regarding the current trends in blogging, but I’ll leave them for some other time.

Again going back to Joseph Campbell’s analogy, I guess “the belly of the whale” period is yet to come for me, going by last year, spent chilling out ;). So the only thing I pray and hope for is, whatever may come, I don’t stop writing.

Happy Blogging everyone πŸ™‚

I Write

I write.

I write of my dreams,
And of my nightmares,
Of my wildest fantasies,
Of grim realities my eyes see,

I write.

About my petty neighbours
About the kids I see everybody
Running naked, barefoot, with bloated belly
About smell of my damp books
About Fort’s secret, silent nooks

I write

About the Temptress’s wet hairs
And her warm bosom I shared,
With many of her lovers.
About the shy girl from school
Who’d often give me looks, from her books

I write

About my darkest days,
About my brightest days,
About the morning mist on the leaves
And the orange sun on the eves

I write

About my dreams of the mountains
And the green valleys and snow
About the place where I want to die
And the places where I’ve grown

I write

Β For a voice inside me calls
And another one screams in pain
I write to answer the call
I write to subdue the pain

I write

To defy my Gods
And to please my demons
I write to expose the lies
I write to flee the truths
___________________________________

I don’t want to be an island
I want to be the sea-wind
Who’ll live everywhere, at once
In the hearts of those, who crave for the sea

A Post A Day!

A Post a day. Sounds like a pretty much of a challenge 😐 Especially for someone like me, whose weeks go by when he hasn’t written a single word.

But somehow I stumbled on this post today by WordPress’s The Daily Post, and I got inspired. Why? Because in recent times, I have been deeply frustrated with my inconsistency in writing (or for that matter in doing anything), and have been trying to follow a fairly regular blogging schedule ever since I started blogging. But, as the case stands, I failed miserably every single time.

And even when I stop to think, I think what’s the point in writing everyday? Especially, as I am a slave to some esoteric muse, who calls me as per her whims, which are obviously very far and few, I can’t even imagine from where I’ll produce the stuff to blabber on about every single day. This in itself is a quite scary thought. Also if it doesn’t happens so, I’ll have to resort to second-hand means, none of which is very respectable.

But despite all these things, I want to write everyday. Yes, everyday. And I don’t want to wait for my muse to hit me on the head with her magical wand for me to start scribbling stuff. I’d rather hit myself on the head if it would work :D. I want to scribble my pen, I don’t want to care anymore about whether awesome or awful shit is coming out. I’m throwing the whole Natural Blogging thing out into the garbage bin.

Though this campaign was started was started by WordPress on 30th December 2010, to mark the start of a new year, doesn’t matter much. I am starting this Post a Day challenge from today, starting into the month of October.

πŸ™‚ time to go wild and illogical!

Mitostargazer