A couple of nights past, over the din of an aimless conversation, the ex-boss asked me,
"Where is E Vestigio going now? As in, it just seems to be meandering... no particular focus, no direction. What are you doing with it?"
Funny thing how even once I got over the discomforting disquiet of that unexpected incisiveness, these long procrastinated questions were still staring straight at me. Sigh. An answer would just have to be found now.
I started E Vestigio with this in mind:
"A writer -- and, I believe, generally all persons -- must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art."
--Jorge Luis Borges
From "Twenty Conversations with Borges, Including a Selection of Poems: Interviews by Roberto Alifano.
By that maxim, I should have been writing each day of the past year! But entirely unbidden, the weirder the year became, the more closely E Vestigio mirrored the change in me... the longer it took to find the right words to write.
Erratic is a quiet way to describe this past year and yet, it's not that I haven't written. An entire notebook stands testament to the things I saw, read, thought, etc. But somehow, the commute from experience to expression became so much more arduous. Posts languished, like a lover hurriedly and disinterestedly pushed away. Perhaps this'd be one of those blogs that lie huddled... like in an elephant graveyard, decomposing slowly and painfully. Quite honestly, if wasn't for Geets, Nocturne, Parth, and the ex-reviewer, the stench would have risen from these black pages much faster and possibly, a long time ago too.
Now though, events are not quite as erratic and certainly of my choice. You see, I am currently gainfully unemployed. There are no more crazy clients, brainsick bosses, and horrendous hours. Instead, there has been one month of sleeping and eating well. One month of loads of films, of books, of biryani, of random surfing, of exploring a Wikipedia article to it's fullest... of letting life ebb and wash over everything.
And yet, I've hardly managed to get anywhere with posting. I wonder sometimes if I have anything interesting to say - especially to myself.... If there is anything left in my writing... if I have not forgotten how. If the reactions to a "recent" post, both on and off the blog, were anything to go by, I just might have! :-)
There are a number of possibilities, of course. Perhaps like the elder sibling suggests, I may not currently have anything to say. Alternatively, it could just a question of practice... of trying harder. Or even perhaps, I could allow the stillness to meander and follow its own course.
A little while ago, I wrote to someone who's known me since I was 16. I don't know if I could call him a friend but he's seen me go through more than one bit of madness. He's also read some my earliest god-awful attempts at piecing words together and oddly enough, encouraged the effort.
I described the entire situation to him. I explained the ennui, the restlessness, the lack of confidence. I speculated about causes, about possible ways to get my groove back, about stopping altogether. He sent back a one liner in response to my belaboured tome:
Wandering is not always a bad thing.
Suddenly a long forgotten e-mail from a long broken friendship dipped in and out of my mind:
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
--J.R.R Tolkein, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I.
Perhaps there is hope yet.