Saturday, October 03, 2009


I opened notepad today, because I felt like writing. I stared at it for a while, wishing I could doodle on it, but resorted to chewing my nail instead. After a few minutes of staring, I lapsed into that contemplative mood where a multitude of thoughts stream in my head and I cant seem to capture all of them. Its much like those runners at the bottom of news TV channels - where you catch some part of a line in a glance, wait patiently for it to reappear, eyes glued to the screen, but inevitably miss that bit again.

So when I can't capture my thoughts while they're being thought, its a problem later on. During my rethinking, I find that there are lot of gaps. Is that a memory problem? Because a re-thought is actually a memory of the original thought that you're trying to bring back? Either way, I can't seem to find some thoughts once they're thunk out. Or rather, I can't seem to find thoughts when I want to write them down. Missing links. Which explains why there is so much discontinuity in my writing. I reread my old blog today, and cringed at the staccato presentation.

But then again, I was never good at writing prose or composition, I think. A considerable amount of effort goes into it. I think writing sentences itself is a challenge. And I find it a complete drag, having to succumb to the rules of grammar and sentence construction. ( And to think I'm an editor, at that!) A sentence is supposed to make complete sense, which I find rather troubling. What if I don't want to make complete sense? What if I just want to leave my sentences hanging in mid-air? Full suspense creation, ha.

Its easier for me to put a bunch of words in verse, especially since I think in pictures. Writing free verse is like spray painting a wall. And writing prose is like having to colour inside the lines.

However, this is only my perspective. I find my sentences too bound by themselves, too dry, and I need to figure out a way to let them loose. I have read some compositions that have made me marvel at the writer's ability to put his ideas so simply and fluidly. Its only when I'm trying to say something that I get stuck. All other times, when I'm not really bothered, I seem expressive enough (eii wait ya, I'm telling no).

Sometimes I wonder if language itself can fall insufficient of expression.

Words have shape and sound, and silence is space.


Tangled up in blue... said...

This is interesting coz this shows me we think very differently.

To me, prose is natural expression and logical thought.

Verse is outbursts of emotion that words cannot contain.

And this, btw, is pretty incredible.

"Words have shape and sound, and silence is space."

Wow! :)

Pankaj said...

i can relate to what youre saying. but ive always found that your words and sentences and expressions have a lot of lightness.

for example, i remember you listing "things i want from this year" or something. i found each observation amazingly insightful and spontaneously expressed.

its not sentences that bother me that much. its the entire body of a writing. the very weight of having to make sense from end to end.

i loved the word "thunk"!

Anonymous said...

Not a bad piece of work for a writer who thinks too hard before penning stuff down. If I may say so :)

The icing? "Words have shape and sound, and silence is space."

Writing can be too disturbing a process at times... but sometimes, it is simply a piece of warm, luscious meringue pie.