Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Curse or Blessing

I am here again wondering if what I am doing is worth anything.  I do not mean is $ but in real worth.  I used to say I wanted to be a writer.  When I was in fifth grade my teacher told me I would have to write but that no one would ever be able to read it because of my spelling.  Poor man had no fore knowledge of spellcheck.  I tried writing in my early twenties but quickly realized that that I simply didn't know enough to write.  Mama had told me you need to write about what you know.  I felt my experiences had been so mundane that I should wait until I was older and understood more.  This may have been a cop out but I could not develop any rhythm.
We had moved to our newly built little Ranch house on L.I., and my beloved Srini told me I didn't have to work anymore unless I wanted.  I settled down to try and get pregnant and to write.  I had my little Smith Corona portable typewriter my dad had gotten me when I was taking typing in high school.  I wrote at the kitchen table.  I had numerous instances of bad poetry and a number of small thoughts several paragraphs long, but nothing of significance would come to me.  I remembered what Mama had said about writing what you know and I just didn't know enough.  After a few weeks of non-productivity I abandoned the writing and started to look for a job to keep me busy. I found one and life shifted.  I never became pregnant either, do you think the two things might be related?
Eventually, I would go onto many other things(subjects for another day), but my writing was limited to papers for school, projects for work and letters to friends.  I have always journaled to some degree but never long informational narratives.  My journaling was most often limited to who, what and more often when.  When I went to live in India for three years I again thought I would write.  I had my father-in-laws little portable typewriter, which we had given to him 30 years before, and again I sat down daily to write.  I felt by now I had experienced so much that surely I had plenty to write about, NOT.
I found myself with the same writers block but this time with the caveat that everything important had already been written about.  Like Alexander, I wept because there were no new worlds to conquer.  By this time I had read and studied most of the great thinkers from Plato to Spinoza, from the Bible to the Upanishads, to the Bhagavad Gita, to the Koran, to the Buddha and beyond.  I had studied the great literature and the poets and even brought to India my business gurus like Napoleon Hill, Steven Covey, Brian Tracy, etc. etc. and self-help tapes from the likes of Anthony Robbins, and time management studies as well as memory tapes. I had sought knowledge in all the right as well as all the wrong places.  Guess what?  Everything I had to say had already been written and said better than I could ever aspire to write.  I was defeated before I ever began.  Fiction was not an option for all the same reasons.  All the good stories had been told and retold by the masters. How could I ever aspire???
So my India writings followed my earlier efforts.   Small paragraphs of hopelessness and despair and a few letters carefully typed to family.  I came back to the US, got a job and worked for another 10 years.  I again felt once I retired five years ago, I would begin to write but it happened, NOT.  The funny thing is over the last sixty years a body of work has been collecting.  I have never thrown away anything I have ever written.  I haven't kept it for my kids because I have none.  I think I have always secretly hoped that one day when I am long gone someone would stumble across my body of work in a storage locker some place and proclaim my genius.  I know realistically as soon as I depart my beloved husband will have my useless meanderings shredded but hope springs eternal in the human breast, or something like that.  This blog is most likely my only hope for my thoughts to live on.  Nothing ever completely disappears from the Internet, or so they say. Like all things this could be both curse as well as blessing. Well, enough meandering for today.