Sunday, October 25, 2020

read, write, write, read

Many of us live by scripts. Our life goals, aspirations, disappointments, perceived insults, escapisms, for that matter almost everything we do after waking up everyday are defined by scripts. Scripts that have been handed down to us by our family, our social circle, the religion and the country we're born in, most importantly the century and decade we're born in among others.

They're like the railtracks of our lives. I think its a useful metaphor. We stop at various stations, travel parallelly with others for times long and short, our reality is defined by what space of the world we're traversing through and who's cordoning us. Infact, when someone's life takes a turn for, what we assume is, the worse, we say that they have been derailed. I suppose the purpose of experience and education is to grow more conscious of those tracks and figure out if we want to head the way the tracks are guiding us.


I've been trying to get this blogpost out for over two months now. There are a few notes scribbled here and there on what I wanted to write about: primarily around Amitav Ghosh's deeply insightful The Great Derangement, Mike Elias' post Wittgenstein's Revenge on Ribbonfarm, Prof. Mehta's phenomenal SeenUnseen episode, Sean Illing's essay Flood the zone with shit and, maybe, a bit of Drew Austin.

My constant affectation of saying that I'm unable to write, that I have nothing to write about, that I don't really want to write because I'm afraid it'll only show my incompetence has turned into a curse. I haven't been able to write since the past many weeks. And ofcourse when I don't write, it means I'm not thinking (because this is the only avenue where I let my thoughts unspool) and that's bloody terrifying. I haven't also been able to read much (not just books but even essays and online articles) and what's worse, haven't been able to listen to the more intensive podcasts (specifically The Seen and the Unseen). I only have been listening diligently to NL Hafta and the only reason is because its almost entertainment with a whiff of news to elude the guilt gene.

Damn I need to write. And often. Albeit the imperfect, confusing, inconsistent, meandering, self-indulgent stuff I write. It is my primary tether to reality without which I'm forever scrambling to stay afloat in the vigorous flow of information bits I consume. And I need to keep reading, abandoning books, essays, Wikipedia articles as I do, without which my mind seems to disintegrate and chip-off in medium-sized chunks while its looking at itself.

<Fit in the Geoff Dyer quote from Out of Sheer Rage that I read recently and which is perfectly apt here but I can't seem to remember what its exactly or where I read it. I think its got something do with surety being always just-elusive but not in such a crass language.>

While I can't seem to find that quote, I will leave you with these ones. They perfectly illustrate why I find it incredibly hard to read Dyer: Because he gives voice to my deepest anxieties in gorgeous, lilting prose which creates in me shame for appropriating his words, and envy at his ability to hold onto feelings I am unable to even look at and force them into definite, sharply boundaried words which then makes my skin tingle with electrifying humiliation.

“I am always on the edge of what I am doing. I do everything badly, sloppily, to get it over with so that I can get on to the next thing that I will do badly and sloppily so that I can then do nothing - which I do anxiously, distractedly, wondering all the time if there isn't something else I should be getting on with.”― Geoff Dyer, Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling With D.H. Lawrence

“The sea: you watch it for a while, lose interest, and then, because there is nothing else to look at, go back to watching it. It fills you with great thoughts which, leading nowhere and having nothing to focus on except the unfocused mass of the sea, dissolve into a vacancy which in turn, for want of any other defining characteristic, you feel content to term 'awe'.”― Geoff Dyer, Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling With D.H. Lawrence

1 comment:

dheeraj kashyap said...

Our lives are more parallel than similar!