Some days it’s like grabbing at empty snatches of air. Grasping what I can, finding nothing when I unclench my fist. I’m looking, but I can’t find the words. They’re floating along, like shimmery sequins that I can only see when they catch the light. Alternating between blinding me and hiding from me.
Some days it feels like I’m furiously drawing circles in the emptiness in front of me. I persevere and the lines refuse to show. The indentations, disappearing almost as quickly as they appeared.The words, they escape me.
Some days, like today, I contemplate a story I need to write. I consider it long enough, so it unfurls in my minds eye. I open my laptop and begin to tap away. Key words. I string them like jasmine, knotting the stalks of two buds at a time, tangling the thread around, just tight enough to keep them together. But loose enough to let them breathe. To let them bloom. And speak.
Some days, though, I have to sit back, take a deep breath. And the words flow like a smooth exhalation. So smooth, I can almost not keep up. Wispy ringlets of of breath, words escape me, floating away before I can pin them down. Almost there, so near and yet so far. The moment has passed.
And suddenly, unexpectedly, while I’m bumbling along doing something totally unrelated, it comes back to me like a hint of a glistening fish, slithering away downstream. I drop whatever I’m doing. I reach out. A brief struggle ensues. The words, they don’t want to become mine. And I? All I want to do is catch them, slice them, spice them up and serve them up well done.
It rarely goes to plan. The best words, they elude me. Refusing to strike when I need them the most. Like when I’m making a list of deadlines, or I’m planning a story, or at least when I finally sit down to work.
They strike suddenly, at a time unbeknownst to me. And they leave an unmistakeable trail behind them. The white plumes of a jetplane that’s zipped through the sky, when I’m staring up open-mouthed. The hiss of flavours melding in the little kadhai, the remnants of a tadka that I just drizzled all over my dal. The jagged edges of a broken dream, when I shake myself awake. The flecks of stars beginning to rise on an indigo sky. The choicest words, they come to me when I’m not looking for them.