Pillows and Cushions. And Smooth Turtles, too.



From Weather Me Well — Retained for the sake of the readers’ comments



It didn’t teach me much, the education. At least not the kind I went to school and college for. The education outside of these fixed institutions stays with me, and makes learning such a sweet pain, it doesn’t hurt much, just a little.

I am a changed woman. Changed from who I was two years back. It would serve me well to leave the analysis to those, who study human behaviour, but I must study my own mind. Know it. Two years back, I was at a doorstep, looking towards the big, getting bigger, world of internet. I didn’t know exactly why I wanted to write online, but I did, nevertheless. Amongst the several contradictory reasons I came up with, the funniest was that I was writing for myself.

I could have used a paper diary.

Like I said, there is no clear reason. But there certainly is a clearas-glass track I have left behind while writing this ‘diary’ meant ‘only for me’. It is replete with meanderings, confusion, changes, clarity, love. Love. My love for expressing myself through written words has grown with each passing moment. I cannot claim perfection. I can, however, claim passion. And that is a strong enough reason for me to write. But things aren’t all that simple for a mind that constantly searches, explores, and fuzzies everything it finds before letting some centrifuge throw out the (un)necessary, and keep some (un)necessary at the crux. Writing has become a spark that refuses to leave my much-colded soul. It is the rainfall that drops only to sate my deeply-warmed heart. How can I ignore it, then?

Over these two years, I have written quite a bit about how blogging has slowly dessicated the sap of unsurety even as it filled my senses with the newness of challenge, hope, dreams, and the comfort of friendship. It has, however, also put my mind in a whirl. That is nothing new for me, of course, the whirling. But it is strange to be so affected by something that is but a faint reflection, a chimera, even. So, I have shimmied and whirled, snickered and pillow-hid my face often while I wrote my heart out.

All this sounds so good. Like an experience one must have. But somewhere during this very educating and enriching outlet, I ventured into deep, dark woods that belied my confidence in me. I began to look for a ‘tit for tat’ as Patrice put it yesterday in one of her comments to me (which prompted this post). When you write, you write for people, it is said. I tried to follow. Shamefully, I even tried to fish people in. That shouldn’t have happened, but it did.

My daughter’s newest shirt has a number of little pink beings on it. The pink turtle says, “I am smooth.” It looks at me with its beautiful pink eyes and an impish pink smile, telling me it is quite all right where it is. On the white shirt, being smooth. I’d like to tell it that it’s doing a fine job. f

And I’d like to feel smooth sometimes.

I am tired of telling myself that I am blogging because I need readers. It derails me, this telling. Even though I shall forever continue writing for myself — mostly for myself — the lack of a response will be much too loud for my poor, delicate ears, much like that echo that never came. And yet, looking for readers, trying to employ the usual means to find readers will tire me. The enrichment I get from visiting them will stay, regardless. But I want to be there because I want to be there, not for any other reason.

B and I don’t visit people. We are a stay-at-home family. With time, visitors have stopped stopping by to say hi. Obviously, there is tit for tat. But when I do it for the sake of it, I find caricatures of the people I am visiting, and when they visit in turn, not the real people. It is an unfair thing to do to people, I think. So, it is best to stay away until we are ready to be visiting. With the same philosophy, I shall have to believe that this writing home that I have created will have to be a stay-at-home one. With a welcome mat placed with anticipation.

In these two years, I have seen people consistently, diligently, writing. Visitor or not, commenter or not, they simply write. “How do they do it?”, I’ve wondered. I’ve also met people, who’ve amassed a faithful set of many-people over a short while, and my question has been the same. The question remains when I see people changing with ‘demand’. People, who seemed sure in their oddity seem to have become confident of their acquisition of uniformity. I am none of these people. It is a lonely place to be in, so I try to barge in, gate crash, even. But feel like a forgotten sapling in a garden teeming with trees that have found their own irrigation system. (Ooh, I like the metaphor).

Especially since their water just might trickle towards my soil.

I take out time every Wednesday to write. Honestly, I do not write because I am hoping for comments, but I do need to remind myself that when I speak aloud, it is pleasant to hear a response. The responses are like those cushions that stop the ricochet of an aimless arrow, providing an aim just by being so.

Whenever I begin to write about the blogging experience, I end up talking a lot about commenters and responses. My mother has often told me that I must edit what I speak, because I sometimes give the impression of feeling what I am not feeling. A tricky situation. But I have neglected to learn to communicate succinctly. Perhaps it is because the mind whirls so? I am thinking of how thoughts and beliefs and actions change over time, and yet remain the same.

Symbolism works best for me. Almost like religion for a believer of someone else’s preachings. If Symbolism was a religion, I’d be a devout believer. Having spent most of my life just being, I find this thrill of ‘wanting’ such a pleasure. Almost like that slowly-baking cake for which you can wait, but can’t. The smell of which you breathe, the sight of which you fire your taste buds with. I want to write more. It is like knowing I have found a purpose, and I shall fulfill it, regardless of the public-ness of the scribbling; irrespective of whether or not the inconsequential ambition of being rich through it see the light. To write is to finally be me. To be me, so that I can get back as me to those waiting, appreciative arms that will soon hold a book — not to lick or taste with her tongue, but to devour these little black worlds, becoming a universe in herself. To not apologise for not being courteous enough to return visits. To be sure of who, and why I am.

Smooth, cushioned, above the pillow.


13 thoughts on “Pillows and Cushions. And Smooth Turtles, too.”

  1. Comment or not, I love your posts Priya. You knock doors at my heart, and I go, “Hey, I didn’t know I had such a feeling in me before.” Or “Oh my goodness! There is no better way to say it.”

    If I were a cuckoo, I would sing sonnets at your doorstep 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on The Heartbreak of Invention and commented:

    It seems to me sharing your whirling heart is a courtesy in and of itself. Please keep doing this; stay in and bake your word cakes. The warmth emanating from your kitchen will remind me and others of our own homes, and how we must return there. I am so happy you want to write books, to pursue your passion. Your work, and dedication to it is a kind of permission for me. too. And somehow, although I would like to believe I don’t require such, where writing is concerned I do need to be reminded, again and again that I can and should dance, kick, scream, roll in the grass, fall in a daze. When you let your writing do all these things, you liberate yourself, but you also liberate your readers. This might be one of the greatest benefits of blogging, the doling out of daily courage.

    I think it’s easier to blog with spiritual and emotional liberation when you remain engaged with others moving through a similar process. Since starting my blog a little less than two years ago, I have acquired (don’t know if that’s the right word) a modest handful of folks who follow along with me; and most of those I follow in return. I don’t think it’s my content that compels faithfulness, that would be too much pressure, but I do sense those who pay attention to my work are committed to their own brand of creative expression. We encourage each other, nurture abiding hope and take turns shielding each other from despair, which appears to be one of the greatest foes of all creation. -patrice

    1. Dear Patrice,
      It’s a very mature way of thinking — “I do sense those who pay attention to my work are committed to their own brand of creative expression” I wish to remember this when there is doubt in my mind.
      Blogging has given me much — all that you mention and more, too. It has also given my heart and mind the whirl. I wonder if it is because it has opened up doors to kindred spirits, temptations, avenues, opportunities, new worlds — all at once. I wonder if it is the overload of a lot of good. But, I mustn’t wonder too much. What I do remember always is that the ones who have stayed with me in this extremely unpredictable blog’s evolution, have actually stayed on. And they remain precious.
      Thank you for the reblog. Thank you for blogging along!

  3. Please don’t ever think of stopping – now that we’ve tasted the passion in your word cakes 😀 we need them to nourish ourselves. If you don’t believe me look at patricej above who reblogged this. No one would reblog this if it didn’t zing with them.

    You have a rare gift of playing with words -juggling them like marbles in your mouth- and for being honest and open in your posts so we get into your head and it sounds a lot like our own heads, but we aren’t able to express our thoughts as simply and beautifully as you – you are THE word juggler.

    Even though you and B don’t entertain much when your book is published I’m coming to visit you – with our without an invitation – because I selfishly want to hear you read the book aloud to me.

    1. You made me cry. I read this after Bela went back to sleep again after a night better than the last 3 nights, but not quite the ideal one. To see her restless and less-than-happy makes me sad. But your words gave me a much needed pick-me-up, thank you.

      I couldn’t juggle marbles with my hands or fingers, leave alone in my mouth. You overestimate!

  4. It seems that many of us are on similar paths. We’re trying to figure out where we’re going, all the while looking around and thinking everyone else is sure-footed and methodically pursuing a goal. Meanwhile, we’re all just wandering, and fumbling in the dark. I’m glad we bump into each other once in a while.

    Keep writing, Priya. What else would you do — sell tea?

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