This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou
Night, sleep, and the stars.
-Walt WhitmanThe magic hour when all the ideas are yours and the pillow is soft and the windows are open and the moon throws oblong shadows on your bed and the cicadas sing and the breeze softly brushes your feet.
I have been reading poems. Poems about love and desire, life and death, spring and autumn, hope and despair, books and travels, men and women, days and nights, time and eternity. Poems by Walt Whitman, E.E. Cummings, Pablo Neruda, Rabindranath Tagore, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou,John Keats and Sylvia Plath. Poems that exhilarate me, kindle flaming hopes, drown me in despair, bind me in a realm of fantasy, curl my toes, awaken myriad questions, isolate me, melt me into the unknown, swirl my soul and harbinger a good night's rest.
I have also been reading a book that caused furrows in my mother's forehead when I had unpacked it in front of her. It is Mario Vargas Llosa's 'The Bad Girl'. This is the book I chose to linger the charm of 'Aunt Julia and The Scriptwriter'. A flip of forty pages and I'm thrown into Miraflores teenagers and Parisian bureaucrats, bad girl who toys with the heart of a good boy, Peruvian guerrilla warfare and military coup. I vainly try to curb the erotomania for authors that seduce me with their words; this desire to devote my entire being to their genius and gaining a scandalously long list of potential lovers in the form of Hemingway, Pamuk, Nabokov, Chekhov, Saki, Jules Verne and now Mario Vargas Llosa.
I felt around in the dark for the switch that operates the need to stay connected and be within reach of a writing wall, 140 words or a beeping mailbox icon; then turned it off for the weekend. I read poems and the novel, I crossed off items in my 'to study' list, I took catnaps, I listened to Nat King Cole and even 'The Kooks', I watched a Woody Allen movie, and I got scared by a pigeon on my bathroom window. I heard the song 'Tokari' by Papon and couldn't stop the tapping foot and the heart bursting with a blazing love for Assam. I read the obituary of Armstrong and at night watched the moon that he walked on, and the space where a woman of Indian origin is still floating in, with gravity defying hair framing her face.
I basked in much needed solitude; it is so addictive, I think I will continue it till it gets on my nerves.