Before the moment when the cloud cleared I had no idea how blue the sky was, no idea how silvery the rain though I’d felt it many times falling gently or fierce as a cataract after a storm and I’d searched my memory and my imagination to find how they were coloured. Before the moment when the cloud cleared from my eyes and tears spilled like cataracts, I had no clear idea.
–––––––––– “I write to let the words escape.” – the writer
It starts with picking crayons, cartoons, interests, and curiosities. Choosing playmates and hobbies, eventually a trade and vocation. And then the choices aren’t so easy, resulting in consequences, trauma, bliss, or both. You’ll choose a partner or lose one, maybe. You might make a decision that sends you to an early grave or somewhere very much alive, halfway across the world. You’ll grow complacent or incomplete, nostalgic or hopeful; you’ll die alone or with a loved one. And it’s of uttermost importance, making choices, because it’s a series of choosing that dictates the quality and quantity of life, so choose.
–––––––––– “Writing, for me, is one of the most enjoyable existential distractions.” – the writer
O for the ears of Gilberto Medina, the 69 year old foreman of the laundry room at the Hotel Pierre who could detect a problem with a machine by a slight variation in its hum; if I could have listened to the hum of my relationships like that I might still have been with my ex, avoided an eight year trainwreck moved further along in my profession become a better poet but as it is what can you do? I’ve always had a tin ear.
–––––––––– “I read about Gilberto in a recent New Yorker and it inspired this piece about listening.” – the writer
“Stan says you’re a writer.” “Yep.” “Nice job. Sitting on your bum all day waiting for inspiration.” “Well …” “What name do you write under?” “My own.” “Never heard of you. I like to read that crime guy whatsisname and the wife likes that romance authoress whatserface. Maybe try your hand at that, eh?” “Probably not.” “So what do you write?” “Literary fiction.” “Yeah? Whatsisname is a millionaire. Worth giving that a go, if you ask me.” “Ah well.” “I won a couple of writing competitions in primary school. Might take it up again when I retire. Bit of extra money.”
–––––––––– “I write to create imaginary worlds that readers can relate to.” – the writer
I will go to Ghalib’s house, the next time I’m in Delhi Pay him homage with one of those urchin flowers That lie fallen – on the sidewalk of the street I must visit the old poet One of these moonlit evenings In the city of lovers, they call it His spirit still walks along the winding lanes Or so, some believe.
–––––––––– “I write to externalize my thoughts, and to give others a glimpse into my experiences.” – the writer
The drab gray with the corduroy collar. You left the cuffs unfastened, the red flannel lining cold. A pack of smokes in your pocket, a book of matches in the other. A cigarette hole on the sleeve. You said you would quit. You’d try. You never did. You liked to watch the embers burn, the ashes flick cool, as do yours, cast vast across the snow.
–––––––––– “I write like there is no tomorrow, getting the words down, leaving perhaps, a bit of my past on the page.” – the writer