QUEST WITH AN UNANSWERED QUESTION- 14

FOURTEENTH EPOCH: STRANGE NEW LANDS

With the question answered, the impediment that had choked my ink into silence so far, melted. Unbarred now, a passion gushes out again, to reclaim with its lettered traceries, all that flames the imagination.

For long, a foreboding mist of darkness and doubt obscured my passion and fettered my art. I drowned in the anxiety of my ability to wrought words into wonders and hence, hunted the lead of a lantern light – an answer – to devour the darkness. But now, those unlit days are left behind as the journey with words ends and opens out into a new world built of a brilliant iridescence.

As I look back, the meandering rill of a road that had so long been my sole company, vanishes into the distance. In another lifetime, I had stood at its brink – now hidden behind the redolent mist of the horizon – callow, and endeavoring to set out on this journey.

Yet now, ahead of me lies the time that hastens me to forsake this familiar path and wander into strange new lands that invite me with their eluding, arcane whispers, yet unconquered.

As I had quote in the past pages, this quest has ended with the beginning of myriad new quests. Now the time has come to disembark onto those, for the voyage must continue. Though one known path rends, another unknown road is sought. Thus is the odyssey of life destined – where the unremitting dance between beginnings and endings lead the adventurer forth to ever uncover the unexpected…

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This journey with words will always remain an unfading memory with its rich experiences and revelations ever stirring at the bottom of my mind. But the only revisit to resume on this road will henceforth be iterations in the lane of memory unless, someday, brought along by destiny, this path I might be obliged to rewalk upon with a new understanding of depth.

Until then, my steps have strayed already in a different direction, and –

This must be farewell.

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To be continued…

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QUEST WITH AN UNANSWERED QUESTION- 13

THIRTEENTH EPOCH: DIVERGING QUESTS

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The ultimate flower – the uncompleted puzzle – was the definition of who I am. The secret at the core was the revealing of the colourful life of an artist, buoyantly etching herself as intricate designs in the stones of memory, so that she would live as a form of art, remembered long after she fades into a forgotten dancer.

The pursuit to understand the ephemeral life beyond its mediocre veil – where, in the end, we are all just forgotten dancers in the unending universe; the seeking to find in the fleeting life, a lasting sense of flow and achievement and mining out our passion and potential that lies unawakened in the mindscape; and a desire to create from those ideas and answers, a unique and individual expression of beauty that sparkled magic into the mundane- to infuse the ordinary and extraordinary, to speak through art.

These were the desires that stirred unfound within the unblossomed flower, drawing with its vitality the questions that would help release it. And once found, these desires became the vision, injecting current and energy to reliven my diffused attempts into weaving this dream part-by-part. In this ultimate undertaking, my words and art of writing would play a part – weaving the ideas that shape my personality into colourful tapestries for the world’s fascination.

The hunt for the missing pieces that complete the vision of this puzzle would nonetheless stretch into distant horizons and deep trenches. But once found, the puzzle pieces that express the discovered answers in concrete colors would be my words.

With this understanding that my art is not to diffuse in the air, but is infact guided by a greater purpose, vanquishes the paranoia that surrounds it, and no more do my words feel lost. I know now, why I write.

But what I write, is an answer that the journey with words can’t explain. This is to be uncovered by other quests. And how those quests are accomplished – the path I would take to reclaim and uncover those hidden puzzles – are ever evolving, ever being found. But with every step further along the path, with every new, fascinating discovery, a core – thrumming with energy – is uncovered, to give purpose and the glow of life to my once hollow and aimless words.

So far, I had indulged in the art, devoid of a vision to guide me down its deep mines. Yet now, its place and meaning lie revealed and no more must my words wander in vain.

And the question unanswered lies now answered…

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To be continued…

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QUEST WITH AN UNANSWERED QUESTION- 12

TWELFTH EPOCH: THE SECRET BLOSSOM

Months ago, while a young night seeped slowly into the Earth, under the dimmed light of a chandelier burning gold, this restlessness arose. In the twilight of profound sombreness, a flame of truth flickered, drinking in the light and yet dispelling the darkness at once. From it’s burning heart of inquiry, a question was wrought – a meager question about ‘why I write’. Yet the answers that were required to douse the flames were not destined to be shallow. Only the heat in the core depths of a being – be it the answer, or the human heart in which the answer lies nestled – could cool these flames.

Thence started the quest with this question. But little did I know then that this was the beginning – the first silent stroke of stillness that signals the brewing of a mighty storm.

Questing with this question, I traversed across skies of days that seemed never to end, and seas of nights spent in contemplation that ran to fathomless bottoms. I sought endlessly, groping in darkness for a mere sliver that may lead me forth – for at least a shattered shred of light mirrored by the answer. Yet, all around me scuffled silently, mere shifting shadows – too many intangible answers that lay beyond reach, yet unformed to be seen by the eye. But in the brooding silence, the shadows had begun to stir into shapes, materializing into solid figures. But the darkness draped the answers in concealment from me still.

It happened when at that point, completely torn by the hopelessness, I dispelled the thoughts out of the narrow confines of their womb – my mind – and into the open unknown. There, in the wide world, my semi-formed mind children – unshaped answers and gathering ideas drunk in the light of the world, clothed themselves in vivid words and ideas that other beings uttered, and at length, returned fully formed in vivid colors.

So it was that when I freed myself from the question at last, the answer emerged. And lo, it turned out that the answer – or answers rather – to my question were more questions; and the quest to seek the answer ended in the beginning of myriad different quests for myriad answers that lay scattered in different directions, like pieces of a lost puzzle.

And to that lost puzzle, all these questions were connected – ‘why do I write’, ‘what do I write’ – they couldn’t be answered by themselves. The secret had to be revealed by the blossoming of one ultimate flower. And that flower, unfolded petal-by-petal – answer by answer…

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To be continued…

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QUEST WITH AN UNANSWERED QUESTION- 1

A QUEST WITH AN UNANSWERED QUESTION

Why do I write?

This question, a matter of introspection to me, arose in its most earnest state during one of my deeply sombre moods. It was late in the night and I felt my day too wasted to want to leave it behind and sleep. I had just finished reading a classic novel, and the melancholy its pages had contained lingered around the hall like a ghost that had followed me out of the book. I identified as an amateur writer but had not written in very long. I didn’t intend to now either; I had lost the passion. But it was still an identity I felt hollow without. It was in this moment that this question awoke. The loud silence of the room, the ghost of a novel written years past and my own restless crises over who I was shoved me into a sort of state. The sort where one happens upon a profound sense of truth throbbing within herself and stays transfixed by this chance discovery.

My guilt about not embracing enough my feebly stirring passion – writing- took the form of a soldier in chains, wanting to aggressively fight his way out of his confines and into the broad sunshine of people’s world. Shadows of thought, long mewling from the bottom of my self, shrieked out in urge now, to be born; and these were no meager shadows, for they were children not merely of the writer’s fingertips or tongue, but of the depth of her human spirit.

The question of why I write had flitted past my colorful world more than once, failing to receive no more attention than the dust of the desert sand would from a parched wanderer that has newly seen the deceptive mirage of an oasis.

But in the end, it is the sand-dust that the wanderer walks with, and it was the question that walked with me. I tried to hush it with shallow answers we both knew were not so much as close to the truth.

And still, unrelenting, the question would return with the whisper of a moonbeam or at a mood so uncharted by any object of interest. It would return and pester, and plague, and fester

Finally, I realized I could no longer escape this recognition, this guilt. The myriad shadows of thoughts crowding the edges of my mind needed to come out, to assume a body, to be seen.

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FIRST EPOCH: THE THREE WANTS

At first, I thought of writing as a mere profession. A mere response to people asking ‘what do you want to become in life? How would you want to ‘earn’ your livelihood (note: ‘earn’ refers to earning a livelihood in terms of money, not satisfaction or joy). I had thought some, rejected much and landed finally arrived to the peaceful conclusion that I would find my place amongst words and fables!

In truth, it began back when I was thirteen. There was a career counselling course I used to attend. It was a quite hall with desks on either sides. Every now and there a desk would be illumined in a pool of yellow and a young girl or boy like myself would be sitting behind its glow, lost in who knew what musings or what pursuit. My own pursuit was always the teenage fantasy of astronomy. I would read books about nebulous explosions, black holes and wormholes. I confess I don’t remember almost any of that now; but what I do remember is that I occupied the last bench in the quite hallway. Behind me, the glass walls revealed the steady flow of vehcles and the flash of their headlights two floors down. There was a world out there – busy and colorful. But inside, I was in a cucoon of silence, a profound and comforting sort. Only me, the warm yellow glow of the desklamp and my thoughts. These moments had made me a writer. I do not know how.

Nevertheless, I did not know now what it meant. Put it like this – you wouldn’t know the value of gold if you picked it off the ground. I was attracted to writing like one is fascinated by dancing lights that are reflected off a diamond. I never appreciating that there was, behind it, a full light and a diamond!

In those early stages, I knew writing to be an enticing ‘profession’. I confess with guilt now, that, the parade of successful writers who earned the respect of  a flashy red-carpet, and the eulogies of admiring readers from across the continents drew me unseemingly to adopt it as a career. This was my most ignorant of requests from an art, I knew not then to be sacred.

Still, even in those amateur days, I cannot fully say this was the only prospect that transfixed me in the decision. Even then, a slightly nobler aspiration had been to acquire the strength of an unmutable voice that is gifted to a writer. A voice to be heard by the ears of men living yonder leagues across, through all the gushing roars of throngs of men. A writer had a voice, made entirely of silence, that spoke louder than any utterance of the tongue. And I wanted from the voice of these words, this power, to help ailing men scattered across the globe; to spread a change.

Then there was yet another wish to be fulfilled. I wanted from authorship, a name in the cover of a book that would exist through time, gathering dust on the shelves even after my mortal life had fled. I wanted my thoughts to be sighed out into the air which my own breath had long ceased to mingle with. I wanted the power of immortality that it granted.

These were the earliest of my wants; forceful wants then. But had I only realized at that time, as I do now, that these were all mere half-hollow treasures…

My wants had been all destination, and never the journey that is writing itself! But as some would say, the most wondrous of things about being the spirit of a river is that it meanders through the deep undergrowth of forest lands and gracefully gushes down a misty precipice, savouringing the luxuriant taste of a desert soil. Its final destination in itself is only a point on the Earth; but its journey is the whole world!

I would like to think of a writer as a river. Only when the writer is a river does his words flow. When a writer is a soldier, drilling in his mind the thoughts of a distant victory, then his words know only to march, leaving behind mere dusty footsteps to feed the wind.

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To be continued…

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