Friday, June 6, 2014


The pen, which i hold clutched in my fingertips, wavers. I shudder with forebodings and unnamed fears. I am about to do something drastic, to extricate, from my imagination, a contingent sliver of my imagination and embalm it. The incessant chatter of conglomerated thoughts in my head is distracting. I pace the room, in a state of frenetic tumult, beset by nervous energy. My writing, even before it is formed into whorled hieroglyphs, exists immanent in me. In many ways it feels i am turning inside out, disgorging my innards into artistic form. But it is precisely this churning mess in me that rendered me desirous of reshaping my primordial inchoateness into a sheath, a structure. I am suffused with ambition though i feel constrained by my inescapable femininity. But my femininity, the fetter which makes writing iconoclastic is also what, in its encapsulation of my lived experience, makes the writing possible. So i exist in the interstice of negating and actualizing. In the process i undergo my own revivification.

I need to discard that which defines me and don that which is constitutive of myself, through myself. In order to divest the appendages of tradition i had to relinquish that which was expected of me. After years of molding myself according to someone else's expectations i found this self assertion tremulous. But over time, with reiterated self suggestion  i crystallized my gossamer, nascent but new self. The newness and unformulated but indubitably configurable identity i became kept me fluid, in a state of vigilant readiness. A certain elasticity was observable but i was sure that i needed to be unequivocally intransigent about certain things. Retraction was impossible because my whole being would be abrogated. But the new self i allude to  was was also a congealing of subterrenean, subversive aspects of my old self. I was not a tabula rasa , hatched out of nothingness. I was a contingent being and in me, indwelling ,was both the propensity of submergence and transcendence. By thus irradiating my outer with the lineaments or remnants of my metaphysical inner, i became.

And in the process i discovered that an assiduous traversing of history revealed foremothers who had paved the path. That i was part of a long line of descent and would be for posterity thrilled me. And it was this analysis of my lot in conjunction with history that drew attention to the subjugation of my lot and our need for an alternate history. My feminism bubbled and simmered, shimmered and refracted shafts of red hot energy that was an inducement, a stimulus.

But write i would anyway. Could i have abrogated my context and picked up the pen i would willingly have done do. But history was a phenomenon that was my ontology. I couldn't be unmindful or unheeding. Evincing insouciance would undermine the polemicism of my endeavor but too forceful a cleaving would rob me of the spontaneity i sought to infuse my craft with. I needed a middle ground. But then it is in the very act of putting pen to paper that will resolve these meanderous peregrinations into art and life.

My mind stills. I get back to the desk, pick up my pen and begin writing. 

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