Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Art and the Act of Writing & Reading

I love the act of writing whether putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. All of it  - whether I am creating poetry, essays, copy or ghost writing. And I love writing letters  as well as receiving them. I wish this had not gone out of  style or been replaced by the quick soundbite or messaging. I love the process.

Writing for me is tactile. Poetry for instance must first be written with pen and notebook. There is something particular about physically connecting to the paper and it must be the right paper. I have many notebooks for this purpose and they are chosen very carefully for size and feel and sometimes for a message they might have imprinted on them. Similarly, the pens must also be special whether by colour, shape or a unique design. How they feel in my hand and how fluidly they write is very important to the process for me. 

When I am writing it feels the same as if I were painting with a brush on a canvas. The page is my canvas and the paint translates my thoughts into words. 
I wonder sometimes if I have an alter ego conducting this orchestra of words working independently of me.

The poetry and the personal  essay writing come from a unique place which is completely separate from my conscious, rational mind. It’s a very still and quiet place, a dark pool into which I can fall freely and am allowed to swim like a water-baby unfettered by thought or will. I feel that I have been gifted with this special access to what feels like and seems to be an unearthly and spiritual space within me. It allows me to be better than I am. More than I am. It gives me the essence of “I Am”.

There is a similarity between the feel of writing and reading a book for me. True I occasionally read books on my iPad but a printed book evokes a completely different sensation. It brings me literally into contact with the actual words on the page. The feeling of holding the book in my hands and being able to touch and turn each page seems to make it more authentic bringing me closer to the author, as if I might be sitting next to him or her and having a conversation. It has an immediacy and an ease of access which heightens and intensifies my sense of enjoyment. 

Both writing and reading, for me, seem to be a complex sensory experience and both are ultimately pleasurable and frequently inspirational. To mangle a famous phrase by Samuel Pepys: “When one is tired of reading, one is tired of life”.

January 2016.