On not writing

Over the weeks, I’ve consciously reduced consumption of the written word, sticking mostly to study texts and work related reading. I’ve also resisted the urge to buy more books and instead finish the ones I have or reread those that call for a second reading. There’s been a withdrawal of sorts happening right in the middle of my life with everything else as is, almost a parallel living. One firmly in the world outside and the other in an inner world. Yesterday, I experimented with not writing a single word just to stay with silence. It was incredibly hard. Truly, silence is not the absence of noise, it’s the absence of thought as I read somewhere! The urge to pull out my book or screen was very compelling but I didn’t, choosing to let memory record them as mental notes instead. Maybe that’s why sleep was unsatisfactory. Perhaps, that’s a cue to work on letting go of the attachment to the act of writing?

Rereading a book on Ayurveda

On an average day, words are strewn about on my blogs, journals, letters etc. They number up to a fair bit, often unruly and raw. It’s almost a compulsion- this need to capture the fragments of my days, thoughts, opinions, contemplation, practice notes, scraps of imagination etc. Maybe I’m afraid of forgetting, maybe it’s a way of keeping record or then it is just a journal of my experiments in living. They are an essential part of my day. The thought of not indulging in them is uncomfortable, strange how sometimes attachment can be to things without substance. At the end of my days, will it matter what I thought or wrote? But here I am, continuing to fill pages, leaving markers of a period in time where I occupied some space.

6 thoughts on “On not writing

  1. Please continue to fill pages — and share some with us! 🙂
    I go through phases, the desire to record and decode experiences, and then other times a strong reticence, when the experiences seem too fragile to be touched by words.

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    1. It’s the same when it comes to posting online, the ebbs and flows. But sometimes I wonder if the bunch of words that find their way into the offline spaces is too much of an attachment to the act. It feels incomplete as a day if I have not reflected.

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  2. I have found that if I focus on my feelings and observations without trying to record details I remember an experience in a more authentic way—for me. Photographs do help and I’m quite glad for phones with decent cameras. As a camera buff I have other tools as well but with the phone I’m more inclined to shoot for memory, not “art’s” sake. Note taking is the worst way to capture an experience I find, it is too distracting. (For personal purposes, not work or formal learning of course.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Note taking is distracting, I agree. It takes away from the experience of the moment. I see that in yoga too. The learning is much better internalized as a bodily memory than a mental one. I’ve also found that often, words allow expression of what I might not necessarily be able to experience. Almost a dissociative act.

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  3. Your writing provides not only a medium through which you can reflect on a live lived, but also an opportunity for connection : )
    Your reflection on your life lived feeds into my life lived, provoking reflection and connection and on and on in an eternal feedback loop (or spiral)!
    xo

    Liked by 1 person

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