Skip to main content

The Unbearable Agony of Unwritten Words



The weather has changed. Skies are clear once again, fog lifted. Azure, cloudless skies; trees bare. The dawn descends with the shy, blush of a fair, newly-wed woman. The days are not yet jaundiced with the pale, bright yellowness of the summers. There is a distinct hint of red in the yellow. 

Writing is sporadic, very less. A few intermittent blog post. Unwritten words sit heavily on the soul of a writer. To accept oneself as a writer is to embark on a dangerous path. It is a solitary profession and a hard one at that. 

I read to prepare to write. I tell myself. Be at some point, even reading has to make way for writing. Writing is not a quick job. It takes time, time and sitting all agitated inside and all peaceful outside, the incongruous internal and external world pulling one apart, in diverse directions. Writing takes time. One needs to tie that heavy stone to the neck of a reckless, wandering mind and allow it to sink to the depths. Bubbles of air escaping to the surface, a brief struggle, gasping for breath and eventual settling down to the bottom of the ocean. Then and only then the world is vivid and the pen is unencumbered. 

Writing won't happen in a hurry. There has to be a pattern to precede it- Reading, pondering, understanding the subject, empathy with the subject, shared suffering -all of it- before the first true sentence breathes on the paper. My novel sits at page number 280, which would mean 140 to 200 pages post editorial massacre. It is sitting there for long. Page 281, blank and barren, sits waiting like an obedient, trusting child in a crowded marketplace, left behind by a father who has wandered off to get a muffin. It sits silent and will not talk to strangers, and it awaits my return. 

Another attempt to get off Social media. Step one- deleted the two applications, Twitter and Facebook from the phone. It is so easy to get on it that it become addictive. Social Media nibbles from the corners on both time and the mental space. Some good friends discovered on Twitter and some old friends re-discovered on Facebook. That said, being on social media is as important as being off it, for anyone as a writer (even as a serious reader, as some studies suggest). 

The agony is unwritten word is unbearable. Reading Stendhal's "The Red and the Black". A brilliant novel. My first Stendhal reading. He is closer to the great Russians than any other European writer I have read. The story largely unfolds into the minds of the main character. A very long book, much like Middlemarch (George Eliot), unhurried in treatment. Halfway through, need to finish (note to self)

Read "The Journals of Sylvia Plath" on the flight. She writes- "Virginia Woolf helps. Her novels make mine possible." I do agree. I know she helps, so does Conrad, Fitzgerald and Homer. Reading for writing, essential. But then writing has to follow. Ms Plath writes at another place- "If I am not writing, I haven't been last half year, my imagination stops, blocks up, chokes me, until all reading mocks me (others wrote it, I didn't). So common, plagues writers great and small similarly. That feeling, that unbearable, indescribable agony of unwritten words, which left unaddressed, will soon rise up and fade away like wisps of smoke rising from dying embers. Write, I must. Keeping a distance from technology. Write by pen on paper. SM only for sharing what I write. Write with discipline. 

(Wrote this by hand (not on desktop). I find it is quicker and to reproduce it on Computer is an opportunity for descent edit. Pleasant discovery, to quote David Ogilvy, that my fingers have not lost their cunning. )


Comments

Great article. I found you through Google+ in the Support-a-Writer community.

I absolutely agree that social media becomes a distraction and I'm trying to find a way of keeping it going *and* ignoring it enough to write.

I particularly like the line in your article: "Writing takes time. One needs to tie that heavy stone to the neck of a reckless, wandering mind and allow it to sink to the depths. Bubbles of air escaping to the surface, a brief struggle, gasping for breath and eventual settling down to the bottom of the ocean. Then and only then the world is vivid and the pen is unencumbered." It describes the meditative state we need to enter to allow our imaginations and words to flow without interruption. Writing doesn't just fall off the pen. It takes hard work.

Thank you for a thoughtful article.

Popular posts from this blog

बुद्धिजीवियों की बारात

बुद्धिजीवियों की बारात
शरद जी रिटायर हो चुके थे। आधार का भय आधारहीन मान कर आधार बनवा चुके थे, और पेंशन प्राप्त कर के भोपाल मे जीवनयापन कर रहे थे। एक बार बिहार जा कर शरद जी नरभसा चुके थे, पुन: नरभसाने का कोई इरादा था नहीं, सो मामाजी के राज में स्वयं को सीमित कर के रखे हुए थे। इस्लाम आज कल ख़तरे मे नही आता था, संभवत: इमर्जेंसी के बाद से, इस्लाम सबल हो चुका था, और कल निपचती जींस और लोकतंत्र के ख़तरे मे रहने का दौर चल रहा था। न्यू मार्केट के कॉफ़ी हाऊस मे चंद बुद्धिजीवी लोकतंत्र पर आए संकट पर चर्चा कर लेते थे, जोशी जी वहाँ भी नहीं जाते थे। एक दफे वहाँ के मलियाली वेटर्स को जोशी जी के हिंदी लेखक होने का पता चल गया और उन्होंने जोशीजी को यिंदी यिम्पोजीशन के विरोध मे कॉफ़ी देने से मना कर दिया था। कहाँ शरदजी सरस्वती से ब्रह्मप्रदेश तक लिखना चाहते थे और कहाँ उन्हे बड़े तालाब के उत्तर भाग का लेखक घोषित कर दिया गया था। इस से क्षुब्ध जोशी जी अपने बग़ीचे मे टमाटर उगा रहे थे। जानने वाले कहते हैं कि इसके पीछे उनकी मँशा महान किसान नेता बन कर उभरने की थी, किंतु उन्हे पता चला कि आधुनिक किसान नेता किसानों को …

दो जोड़ी नन्ही आँखें

अनदेखे ख़्वाबों की दो जोड़ी नन्हीआँखें, जिन्होंने स्वप्न देखने की आयु से पूर्व दु:स्वप्न देख आँखें मूँद लीं। जो क़दम अभी चलना ही सीखे थे, लड़खड़ा कर थम गए।
बचपन के घुटने पर लगी हर खरोंच, व्यस्कों के गाल पर एक तमाचा है।

धर्म के आडंबरों से अछूता बाल मन जो मंदिरों और मस्जिदों को अपनी आत्मा में रखता था, धर्म की दरारों पर अपना नन्हा शव छोड़ निकल पड़ा। कहीं दूर,दग्ध शरीर के ताप से दूर, जब यह अकलुषित हृदय पहुँचा तो एक और निष्पाप दूधिया आत्मा दिखी, जिसकी पलकों के कोरों में उसकी आँखों के जैसे ही अविश्वास से सहमा हुआ अश्रु रूका था।

एक दूसरे के गले लग कर दोनों बाल मन दरिया के टूटे बाँध की तरह बह निकले। घाव बाँटे, एक दूसरे के हृदय में चुभी धरती की किरचें निकाली और न देखे हुए स्वप्नों का श्राद्ध रचा।

उसने थमती हिचकियों में अपना नाम बताया - ‘आसिफा’।

और दुख के साथी की ठोड़ी थाम कर कहा - ‘मत रो, न्याय होगा।’

धरती की तरफ़ नन्ही गुलाबी उँगली दिखा कर कहा- “देख, भले लोग लड़ रहे है मेरे लिए, न्याय होगा। तेरे लिये भी लड़ रहे होंगे। तू मत रो”

फिर बोली, “मैं पश्चिम से हूँ, तू पूरब से, पर हैं तो दोनों बच्चे। …

About Mahakali- The Eternal Mother

The strongest aspect of a woman, uncontested, unwinnable for a man is motherhood. Kali is the eternal, divine mother. She represents the silent darkness of the time when nothing was there, and from there, from darkness, from nothingness, she shaped life. She is every woman, every mother, which stands in darkness, so much so that she herself becomes darkness (Kali~ Darkness) and creates life, beholds life, births life and nourishes life. The light emerges from the darkness, and the colors rise from the lack of colors. She is the dark womb from where the feeble light of human life takes first breath. She is the consort of Mahakaal (Kaal-Death), Shiva- The lord of death, Mahakali. She is death. Hinduism celebrates life as well as death. Death being the moment, where we clean our slates and start afresh. Therefore, both death as well as life are intermingled, interconnected and interchangeable in their meaning. Death can be looked at as the end of life; can also be looked at as the beginn…