Where I left Off!

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence. Jorge Luis Borges

I’ve been silent about random things. Well, my word for 2020 has led to a number of split exercises. Unfortunately these “splits” are not as graceful as that of a gymnast. I’ll be honest, I resisted the word “expand” at first. Because I suspected it might stretch me in uncomfortable ways. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to:

1. Refocusing my content

I didn’t decide to refocus my content in order to rank up high in search engines, though that should be the aim, too. But it was to remind myself why I started this blog; to share my poetry initially. This remains my focus, even though I’m not “just [getting] the poems out there” at this point. Then there’s creative nonfiction, which I enjoy writing too.

2. The cleaning job

Towards end of last year, I started a series of Random Things. Even though I enjoyed, it felt haphazard and unfocused. I mean I didn’t even have proper post titles. I had to rethink it a bit and aim for some kind of coherence. So, this is my picking up from where I left off, and focusing on one or related subject(s) per post.

3. Consistency

Consistency remains a stretch. I enjoy interacting with you here, and also visiting and reading my favourite blogs. All this takes time. Therefore random things will be posted randomly and as time permits. But flash memoir will stay in place, i.e. every first Sunday of every month. Mini reviews of books I’ve read or listened to will be posted only where books are sold, even though I’ll continue to share what I’m reading here.

an expansive lake

4. Exploring other forms of storytelling

There are other forms of storytelling I want to explore or develop further. Anyhow, I’ll keep you posted as these (not-so) new explorations take shape.

5. Beyond this blog

One of the ways I’m trying to stretch myself is to tell stories beyond this blog, and to different audiences. This is already in progress…

So, my “unproductive” creative period turned out to be productive, after all. Because a writer is always at work, even when she dusts the bookshelves.

Now I’d love to hear from you. How is your writing or creativity going, more especially in this time of Coronavirus that’s affecting everyone and everything? We are working and studying remotely this side; video/conference calls and online chats are the order of the day.

But more importantly, I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy. Have a restful weekend!

The Entry Point

Growing up, I was never sporty. But I enjoyed hanging out in sporty circles, where my sporty sister’s suitors sometimes mistaken me for her. I was mostly a book nerd, and sometimes a floater in between high school social groups.

I eventually developed a decent amount interest in sport, and I still play tennis, badminton and Frisbee golf, among others. But it’s only when I hike (long distances) that I’m really in my element.

In summer 2015, I incurred a knee injury; a torn meniscus. You can attribute this to my enthusiasm in touch rugby, at a mature age. Up until then, I’ve never broken a bone or torn a muscle before, only minor sprains.

The injury took months to heal, age was a factor. In addition, the orthopaedist had advised against surgery. And the strenuous work I was doing at the time made things worse, I was constantly on strong painkillers. In the end, I left.

It was painful to be limited as I was on crutches. But it was silence that was most acute. I felt so alone, even though my husband did everything in his power to support me and allay my fears. I would wake in the middle of the night shaking and drenched in sweat. I had unreasonable nightmares.

I was afraid that I’ll never be able to hike and backpack in the wilderness again. This might sound trivial or dramatic. But I thought what would become of me, if I’m not able to write again. Because walking/hiking is my writing’s point of entry.

So, this is how this poem (I wrote for my husband, almost five years ago) came about. And it’s own point of entry was pain.