A Beautiful Book.. 😊

I must have seen this cover a hundred times, yet I can’t get over the beauty of it! The colours, the expression, the textures… All are a work of extreme purity. 

Now, to come to what’s between the covers… Pure excellence.

Meandering between three decades, starting from the art and life of the first female Dutch artist to be invited to join the Artists Guild in 1600s, to present day New York of 2000 and a painting called, ‘At the Edge of the Wood’ and it’s forgery. Three alternating timelines and locations and their impact on the lives of different people, is done masterfully by Dominic Smith. 

I couldn’t agree more with the ‘People’ magazine review… “This beautiful meditation on love, loss, and art is as luminous as a Vermeer. ‘

Loved every word of this fabulous book.


Words Worth

I see them floating around, pieces of paper, like confetti, carrying differently coloured words….disappointed…happy…maybe… been planning…so sad…glad…will do…nature…love…children…
All these are snippets of pages from ancient diaries, diaries maintained over years, never re-visited, re-read yet carrying the ominous burden of the past. Stories about real and imagined hurts, extreme happiness, earth shattering sadness, tales about life-altering decisions and completely misjudged predictions of the future. At the end of it, this is all they are…a collection of words used to express the ephemeral nature of the emotions one is going through in the process of living. At that time they act as valves, helping one let off steam or gain perspective, but then their work is done. Holding on to them is like trying to grasp at shadows.
Therefore, I systematically tear them to bits and throw them up and they fall around me like refreshing rain. It is a hugely cathartic experience, like a ritual cleansing, like taking a long soak and watching the dirt move away, leaving a fresh and clear feeling in its wake.
It has been said, “Never make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.”
These written words serve the purpose of showing just how temporary these emotions really are, how quickly they change colour and just how important it is to recognise them for this quality. There is nothing permanent about them, the feebleness of the word, “Never” or the fragility of the word, “Always”. In a non-permanent world, they fool us into believing that it will be different for us, that we will buck the trend.
What they serve to show is that, permanence is the biggest fallacy and change is the undisputed constant.
As I sit in a sea of floating words, I let go of all that I thought was permanent and train myself to enjoy the only thing that is…this simple, beautiful, present moment.
And true to my nature..I reach for a pen to record this new, life-altering insight. 🙂

My Place in the Woods

My place in the Woods

I have been a lover of words for as long as I can remember. Like a rag picker I gather and store them. I have kept diaries and I have kept scraps of paper. I have cut out inspiring paragraphs from magazines and newspaper way before they were read by the rest of the family and been suitably admonished.

These diaries and words have been a true witness to the unfolding of my life. Like the rings in the trunk of a tree, they have helped me uncover the truth about myself and followed my personal and spiritual growth. By guiding me gently like fire flies in the dark, they have shown me the road down which I should travel in order to be peaceful and happy.

I write about a beautiful bird observed, a book that inspired, a movie seen, an exhibition visited, a memory recovered and saved from oblivion, an artwork that made me happy. As the subconscious desires and fears come to the fore from the dark recesses of the mind, the mere act of writing becomes cathartic.

 I find myself a quiet spot. In the stillness of the early morning hours, the empty page stares at me and greets me like an old friend. I am ready to chart the flight of my thoughts. The pristine whiteness of the page soothes my mind. Even before I have written anything I am calmed. With the process of writing I get in touch with that part of my soul which is nurtured by silence and blossoms with the light of attention.

My pen twirls expectantly in my impatient fingers, waiting for me to make the first move. I have been looking forward to this moment all morning. Chores over, hot cup of coffee by my side, a warm, welcoming silence all around, in this all-pervading silence, I wait to ensnare inspiration like butterflies in a net.

All I get is grey blankness.

I desperately want to write something exciting today.

I want to write a story using words that are fresh as summer rain and evoke happiness and joy. Words that will inspire me and their reader equally, yet try as I might, the right words elude me, whatever I write seems trite and clichéd. Is this really what I want to convey, I wonder? A dull, brown pall surrounds me. Yet, I persist, hacking into the dictionary and the thesaurus for new words and more agile sentences. Sentences that dance to their own tunes and make people sit up and take note of their existence. I know there`s a story within me that needs to be told. What is it? I need to find out, so I plod on…urging the dullness to lift and be replaced by something pulsating and bright.

After writing mounds of pages I realise the futility of the effort.  The stress I am putting on myself ensures that all creativity and spontaneity gets killed. I crumple them in disgust, not so sure of myself any longer. As the coffee cools by the side of the table, I feel my enthusiasm ebb away. Thoughts are already flitting around in my head…swarming around to let me know just how useless I am and how nothing of any worth will ever come out of me. As I flick them away with an impatient hand, I recall beautifully strung words…words which make sentences of such purity that they tug at the heartstrings. I take out my diary and read those sentences…collected painstakingly over years of reading. I forget myself and revel in someone else`s gift with the written word.

I thank the insight that spurred me to note down all that I admired in another`s writing. The clarity, the precision, the brevity, the eking out of the essence of wisdom is nothing short of miraculous. In those comforting pages of the written words, I lose myself. As I skim through impossibly perfect sentences, I come across words that could have been noted down for this very day…

“The woods will be very silent, if only those birds sang, that sang the best…”

Magically, I find my place, a place that no one was taking from me, but one that I was willing to give up, voluntaril. Now I tell myself, not without a fight…

I make a fresh cup of coffee and get down to the joy of writing.

I smile…