There was never enough space to express. Every time I sat down to write, thoughts bubbled like froth without definite shape or size – indefinite with no density within. There was something I wanted to say, but it took a long time and effort to form words out of this foam. It was as difficult as walking for the first time – I paused after every sentence, sat with every thought and wondered if it was a good idea to write what was best unsaid.
Writing always fascinated me and voracious reading made sure that I ended up holding a pen and a blank paper. It was this blank paper that scared me – scared me of its vastness, of its absence and of its innocence to accept anything and stick with it forever. Every written word becomes a personality of its own yet remains an extension of its author. I was worried about my extensions, the choice of words, the appropriateness of the matter and the very fact that I was unlocking my mind to a new, strange world – something that has been neatly tucked in a smaller space than a blank 8×11″ paper but it held a sea of ruminations, ideas, fantasies and a unique experience of its existence. It was a race – to fathom, to translate, to express and have a meaning, even. What could be more frustrating than to write something as simple as drinking a glass of water and getting stuck in creating a perfect image of that visual? The exactness of reality became tiresome as writing only approximated it. I got stuck in rhetoric than flowing freely in simplicity.
It was finally practice that came to my rescue. Practice of writing, practice of swallowing criticism, practice of still writing after disliking my notes and practice of taking a break and vowing to come back only when my thoughts were ready to sprout again. In spite of all this, I have traveled only a few steps in the desired direction. I realize that I need to go slow here. I wish to observe every tact and trade this art is supposed to bring and cherish it like it has been always mine. There are boulders of writer’s block awaiting me, begging me to sit on them and just observe instead of writing or reading.
While I am still obsessed with writing, I have gained respect for choosing what not to write. It is analogous to experience vs. expression, thought vs. action. What is felt, understood, realized becomes hopeless when words absorb it. I am learning to let it stay the way it is. Words are meant to convey, glorify and magnify and not everything falls in that category. This journey has been my attempt to understand the difference.