Thursday, April 19, 2012

Writer's Block

I used to be convinced that writer's block was my greatest enemy. But now I realize, it's not writer's block that I'm battling against, but rather, what I make of all my thoughts. A writer can never be empty of ideas, because as long as she continues to breathe, her every second is filled with new observation of her old surrounding, reminders of things to be done today, sweet and bitter memories of yesterday, and from all these things, little judgments that arise along the way - all of them paths to new thoughts (ideas) or are themselves new ideas.

Writer's block is not the blockage of a flow of ideas or the creative juice. Writer's block is the deprecation of your own ideas, to see it as unworthy or unfit to be let out into the world beyond your own because you think you know it is so stupid, no one in this world deserves to have a few minutes of their life be wasted on reading that thought of yours. I think that a lot of times, that's why I have held back so many of my ideas over the years. But the funny thing is, I think the same a lot of times for some of the posts I've posted here too, and it is the ideas that I most fear will be ridiculed by others that usually get the most positive feedback or at least some strong reaction from my readers. So chances are, the many ideas that I've bypassed before and locked in my mental dungeon were great ideas that could have been. There's really a need for renewal in the mindset of every writer stuck in it, to find worth in oneself, to find worth in every new thought. Only then can the writer be brimming with exciting new ideas all the time. Only then can I.

Many have called me a thinker. Some, an over-thinker (which I suspect is a less flattering form of the first remark). I can't totally disagree with them, because I admit to reading into people's reactions too much too often, or thinking about more possibilities and answers to cases that have already been closed. Dwelling too much into everything easily leads you to dismiss as irrelevant most of your thoughts - because, you can't possibly have a thousand new thoughts a minute and have all one thousand of them be screaming ingenuity right in the face. That's fooling yourself. Borderline delusion even. That said, it's also a delusion to think that of the thousand thoughts springing out of the assembly line of that grey matter of yours, not one is even slightly substantial enough to be developed and shared with the world. Most of the time, the world just doesn't work in either side of extremities. It likes it grey.

A new idea is always present. All that is needed for it to take form is a little bit more courage on the writer's part to acknowledge it. That is why there's no such thing as writer's block. Unless you are a writing corpse. Even then, the idea of you being dead and still writing is a great idea in itself.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Efflorescence Inspired

Sometimes I feel so close to you,
When the morning sun lurks in the horizon,
And I'm still talking to you,
Like the world is just you.

Playfulness that is so comfortable,
At ease like a child at play,
We fool around,
As if a day's work doesn't await us.

I long to give you honey,
sweet words,
Arms that yearn to embrace,
The sweetness that makes you, you.

But oh how you keep your secrets,
And I keep mine,
An intimacy divided,
By the toil of the unspoken.

Shall I write you a song?
Song that sings of my affection.
But how devastating a truth it'll be,
If it goes not responded.

Tell me what do I make out of words,
and actions and intentions,
So leading, so bubbling,
Like you have reasons to make them known.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm Alone, and That's Okay.


I had one last paper to sit for in my college finals, and my stomach was reacting badly to food from the previous afternoon. Feeling suffocated after being cooped up in my hostel room for the first half of my Wednesday, I decided to get out and then drop by the court in college to watch some CF friends play floorball. After doing the mandatory greeting of people on the court, I sat in a corner on the ground, and alternated between watching them play and casually studying the intercultural communication textbook. It didn't really matter though which of the two I was doing; I was really just resting my eyes on something as I got lost in my own thoughts.

People came and went on the court. Some, like me, dropped by without any intention to play and just wanted to meet people. Because I was sitting alone, they would almost definitely come to me to chat. I soon realized, being asked why was I all alone or looking so lonely became an inevitable part of the chat. On occasions, someone in the middle of the game would even pause from running after the ball, look up at me and comment that I looked so lonely.

It was slightly annoying, to have to assure virtually every passing soul that no, I wasn't feeling lonely and that I was feeling perfectly at ease with myself where I was sitting. I was amused though by how of all the many other things people could have noticed and mentioned about me - like say, my frizzy hair - everyone ended up choosing to mention my solitary presence. And, this had to be mentioned with a tinge of sympathy as if there was a reason for them to feel sad for me that I was alone. 

It really got me thinking: are humans so inherently designed to desire companionship with their own kind, to the extend that they have an instinctive aversion to the sight of a lone human or have reasons to feel sorry for people they think are alone or lonely?

Many, by the way, use the words alone and lonely as if they were synonymous to each other. Of course, if you were asked to ponder separately on the meanings of the two, I'm pretty sure most can actually describe a difference or two. In my own words, being alone is the physical state of having no one else by your side. And you don't have to feel lousy about that. As for loneliness, I guess that is more of an emotional state - of a longing for connection with other people that is absent, which in turn leaves you with emotional discontent.

But maybe the difference doesn't really matter since most people automatically assume that an individual who is physically away from others is a sorry and lonely sight. And that's the problem. If I ask you now to take a moment to think of a happy situation, I dare say that chances are high you've thought of a birthday party scene, or a cozy gathering of friends in a cafe, or a young family building a sand castle on the beach together - situations that involve people instead of a person. You probably didn't have an image of an old man playing chess in the garden by himself, or of a teenager lying in the hammock as she contentedly reads a novel.

How has society played a part in conditioning the belief that people have to have people alongside them to paint a happy picture of humanity? Can't a person be genuinely happy being her own company? You may argue that a person completely void of human contact will never be a happy person, which I agree. But I happen to think that a person perpetually thrown into the presence of other humans will never be a happy person too, because everyone needs a regular time-out from everyone else. 

Time of solitude is not even a luxury to be enjoyed. Solitude is as much a necessity for the well being and sanity of a person, to be able to reflect on his own, as time with others is a fulfillment of every human's need to connect with others. We need both human company and solitude to keep life in the right perspective. We can't live without one or the other. So if we need both, why all the fuss over people who happen to be alone when no major fuss is made for the bunch of girlfriends shopping in the mall?

People fear being lonely. They fear having others see them alone because that may be interpreted as loneliness. In turn, they think the same for other solitary figures whom they come across. It all boils down to self-consciousness and too much care invested on the thoughts of others.

I think there is a certain kind of beauty in being along, consumed by all thoughts of my very own, unchained by the need to be conscious of another's awareness of me. And it doesn't have to mean I'm lonely or longing to be in a socially busier situation. 

If God had meant for humans to require no solitude, I think He would have created humans as a chain much like Siamese twins instead of billions of separate physical entity.

via Behance