a lonely story told
Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely. — Erma Bombeck
I have started writing again.
For years, I always knew there was a writer in me and I wrote intermittently. There were years when words flowed from within me like a river un-dammed. I wrote on my blog. When I look back at some of my writing, I can still see the spark.
Then, there was a decided period of time when I felt I could not get any words out, try as I may. I retched and coughed, but nothing of consequence came out. I was empty. The well had run dry.
Now, again, I feel the pulse. I am beginning to be prolific, almost as if I fear another drought and want to outrun it. I was wondering about the reason behind my new found fountain of wordsmithing. Then, it struck me.
I talk less these days. A whole lot less. Again.
In those times when I seemed to be running only on fumes, it was because I was spending a lot of fuel ‘exvoluting’, as in the exact opposite of involuting that I had mastered and practiced since a very young age.
This realization made me reflect. About others who pen. On the diaspora of writers and their personalities. About all the great authors in history. I wondered if they felt the same. If their perceived unsocial actions, in seeking solitude or the lonesome company of alcohol, were deliberate in building genius. And, I surmise, it must be so….
For, writers have been given several names, names with implied meanings. Wanderers, Artists, Creatives, Birds, Storytellers, Weavers, Dramatics, Dyslexics, Wordsmiths… And, yet few can relate to a writer’s mind and way of thinking. They have been likened to the gypsy, the fairy, the witch, typically, those with powers beyond comprehension, with the ability to bewitch. The ability to carry another into rapt attention through truth or fiction, is almost akin to sorcery.
An impartial judge would surmise that writers are not deemed to be very normal. They do not fit within the consensus of society. Not ever in history. Not today. And, unlikely, tomorrow.
Every brilliant writer in history has had some form of social or sociological disorder. Combing through the anals of literature, the most beautiful essays in any language have been by those who have either voluntarily or otherwise shunned the company of society. Many banished themselves to reclusion and preferred the company of a liquid or at most a canine over those of humans.
And, yet, I wonder if these fringes indeed give their words wings.
To be a writer requires an ability to go within yourself into a space that lets your thoughts roam, unbidden and without distraction, until they are ready to be penned. One can presume this needs a certain distancing from the world at large. Hardly do you find an orator to also be a great writer. Perhaps, it is self-selection or, perhaps, it is discipline. But, to be an evocative writer, one needs to express in words on paper rather than in person.
In other words, to write, one needs none to speak to. For, if the words are spoken before the thoughts are fully formed, the magic thread is frayed by its incompleteness. Once spoken, the thought loses its rapture and becomes prosaic. Like a cloud being cracked before it can stay and gather enough water to become a rain cloud, the thought becomes broken and is still born.
But then again, think too much on your own, and, the thoughts can spin amidst themselves like a dog chasing its own tail. To freeze the mind at a certain point requires a level of will that is rather elusive to most, even among writers. For this purpose, alcohol both fuels the mind as much as it shuts it off allowing the owner to harness the creative spirit just as it is blooming.
We glide, just at the boundary, holding back a little, observing impartially, not judging, not voicing, not partaking. A sip is never enough, a bottle too much. So where do you draw the line when everything is blurred, yet, the mind is sharp?
And, so, the coin drops.