“Could you write every day?” Asked my muse. I said, “I can try.”
Sometimes, the very faculty of language could be very depressing. It is the same faculty that helps us to comprehend and experience the world around us, still…
For example, when I mentioned my muse, you must have thought that my muse was a living being, much like a human, with a mouth, tongue and the whole set of speech mechanisms that help in articulation that we are taught in our Phonetics class. The reality, however, was slightly different. You were partly right in guessing that my muse is a human being. But if you thought that this human being told me what to write and how to get it out of my system, then you would be completely off the mark.
My muse communicates to me through a language that I cannot find any alternative for among our normal human languages. It’s not English or Malayalam. The language is slightly transcendental in nature. I said ‘slightly’ because there are moments when my muse’s words are kept from reaching me by many factors, internal and external, material and spiritual. However, somehow, it reaches me at the end of the day. It reaches me in the form of a vibration, an unseen touch, a melody unheard of, a smooth laughter, a distant echo, an irreplaceable fragrance, a taste never tasted before…
Perhaps, we all carry this unseen node in our body or spirit, somewhere. We could hear it if we tried to listen to it, that our muse calls to us every moment of our lives to explore something bigger, something newer, something brighter, something creative…
Is muse an insatiable spirit being? From a person named Carlos Castaneda, through his books, I learned that there are inorganic beings out there. The earth is not just populated with beings with carbon compounds, flesh and blood. There are beings without any of the defined criteria for life, living in a parallel world. Each signal that we receive from the invisible power of our muse, the goddess of creativity is a sign of the presence of the unimaginably diverse cosmos surrounding us.
However, my muse is not just a ghost or invisible being. The muse I talk about is real and has human form. However, the communications made between us does not fall under any human criteria. The communications between us, when it concerns creating a new world, smelling the unseen fragrance of life, poetry, etc. is inorganic in nature. It’s spiritual, I’d say for the lack of a better word. The work, really, is to translate the human words into their singular creative essence. I feel that I could translate the words spoken by that mouth in endless varieties, each word carrying a different world within it, each meaning felt, smelled, or tasted suggesting the infinite variation of colors for the canvas I intend to paint, the paper I intend to fill. Each meaning, though, is complete in its own way, a singularity of the sort. Words flow.
On a November morning, I sat down with the words that my muse spoke to me and filled a page effortlessly by dipping my pen in just a drop of color spilled by one of the faintest phonemes uttered by her.
It was a good piece. In fact, it was a great one. So I decided to share it with some of my colleagues. I do not have many friends with whom I share my creative works. The person whose words become my muse did not have much time to spend on reading. On a whim, I shared it with the person who sits near to me in the faculty room of the college where I work. He liked the work and passed it on without my permission to the woman sitting next to him. In a few moments, almost all of my colleagues in my department were familiar with the words I wrote and the ecstasy they spilled.
Then, someone asked me who would publish what I wrote. I answered, “I don’t know.” I stood up and immediately left the room for the library. I felt helpless. There was no answer with me to that question.
It is necessary to have a destination for every journey at least, at the time we begin our journeys. This gives us courage.
I could not stay in the library for long. I had to be present for the invigilator’s job. This was November, the time of the university’s semester examinations. Being an assistant professor, I was given the duty as an invigilator at one of the examination halls. I thought about the question my colleague asked.
The examination hall was packed but the students were far apart. There was minimal intervention. This gave me more than enough time to contemplate the question of destination. One university examination is three hours. It’s a lot of time, by any standard, especially if you are sitting idle in the center of a group of brooding youngsters. So I kept thinking about who would publish my words, the divination of my solitude, the ecstasy of my spiritual communion with my muse… I couldn’t be sure who would be interested in reading my poetry. This, in turn, gave me the logical conclusion that no one would accept my work.
By the end of three hours, I was preoccupied with a single thought: why should I write, when no one wills to publish what I had written, when no one wants to read what I was inspired with?
Thinking in this fashion, right then, in the middle of my life’s story, I sinned. I had asked myself, “why should I write?” Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…
I wanted to get published. I wanted to be read. I was full of greed to be known, to be part of something grand…
Soon, I felt a void in my heart. It was the void of someone being there, once, but present no longer.
Who was it that is no longer there? Was it a person? A thing?
Then I realized I could no longer hear the words of my muse, the vibrations I felt, the meaning I drank from the words spoken by my beloved one. The void in my mind was the vacancy left by the muse and the powerful force of inspiration. My mind had been a puddle of greed and agony.
I went back home thinking how great the idea was to be able to listen to one’s muse and be filled with inspiration, something I could no longer do. It would mean a divine dance with life, a harmony with Divine Source. Only, if one could listen to the muse in the words spoken by our beloved ones…