Long ago, I was told that once you learn a language, you don’t quite forget it, it is there somewhere in the back of your brain, hidden in one of those millions of creases of memory, just waiting to be relearnt. I don’t quite know how true that is, I guess it must be. The languages that I have learnt aren’t quite forgotten.
Similarly, I wonder if writing can be lost. I of course speak for myself. I sometimes wonder what would happen if one day I woke up and realized that the words would not tumble out the moment I sat before a book or a laptop. It’s a scary thought.
On Sunday, (Yeah, Valentine’s Day and all that, I know. I don’t believe in it, though I am all for those who want to celebrate it. As for me, I balked at the overdose of red and pink everywhere and stayed happily indoors. Now that it is out of the way, back to what I was saying….) I wanted to write something. I had to, in fact, needed that rush of knowing that I could still put my fingers on the keyboard and that they could take a life of their own, that they could still etch out the thoughts that I never knew I was thinking. But to my horrors I kept opening file after file, naming them all sorts of things and failing to write a cohesive paragraph!
Imagine my horror! I mean, I simply wouldn’t know what to do with life if I couldn’t write! Not just a professional hazard, mind you. I wouldn’t have the outlet that I so crave for when I want to be where people cannot follow me.
I dare not call myself an artist of words, writer is a heavy tag too, though I honestly wouldn’t mind the least carrying about that cross on me. But what if that thing in me which makes me write disappeared one day? It happened once with poetry, for about five years, I didn’t write a single poem until one evening when I was supposed to be studying, it all came back. Would I find it again? What would I do with myself in the intervening period? Would I miss it or simply find other things to? I hope I never find the answers.
Does this happen to other people who create? To painters and musicians and artists of all kinds? Wonder what they do…I remember one of those singers--was it Beyonce Knowles?---who recently said she was taking a break from the studios for six months to live life and get inspired again to make her music. I liked that, I really did. I like the idea of seeing what the rest of the world is like and getting inspired again.
On another note though, I admire those who create constantly. I wonder where they get their inspirations from…would it be from trying the new? From seeing the strange? Doing the unusual? Taking the plunge? By being free?
Ah…what do you know! I did manage to write this! Looks like I don’t have to search a lot, that thing I seek hasn’t left yet. At least not yet!
Rilke one more time: If you think you can live without writing, do not write.