nothing is lost

“Nothing is ever lost. If you have moved over vast territories and dared to love silly things, you will have learned even from the most primitive items collected and put aside in your life. From an ever-roaming curiosity in all the arts, from bad radio to good theatre, from nursery rhyme to symphony, from jungle compound to Kafka’s Castle, there is basic excellence to be winnowed out, truths found, kept, savored, and used on some later day. To be a child of one’s time is to do all these things.”
Ray Bradbury
Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Inside You

To me, nothing could be farther from the truth than the quote above. Key word being ‘winnow’. We all travel through our lives in a variety of forms, roles and in different levels of openness. To bear in mind that we have the grace and the wisdom to be able to winnow the excellence within each experience and to be as open as a child to accept and them all, now that’s unlocking the creative genius within each. No matter the mode of exhibition.

I am still to read more of Ray Bradbury’s works, but had the opportunity to get a print version of “How to keep the muse and feed it” from our local library. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find an online version (if anyone does, please post) of this essay that’s part of the collection of the book “Zen in the art of Writing”. However, here’s a brief review of the book, that is charming on its own which does not of course reflect on the final appeal to individuals.

Ray Bradbury is revered by many and reading his single essay alone made me actually logon and buy a couple of his books online in the last hour. I am blessed with dear young friends who enlighten and educate me on the various gems (that am blissfully ignorant of) in literature, music and art among others. I heard of Bradbury in association with Arthur C Clarke who passed away recently. A piece that once again drew me closer to the kind of subtle yet effective writing (uncannily as I look at the date, one week short of a year ago) was this one. Nine Billion Names of God, by Arthur Clarke.

Continuing on to Bradbury’s idea on writing;

My stories run up and bite me in the leg — I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.

To put it bluntly, I feel that bite and rush at times when am in the middle of a kiss-n-ride, in the grocery aisle and occasionally in the shower. The urge to capture, harness and hold that within the confines of ink or a byte is incredibly strong. One never knows when that bite’s gonna get impatient with you and scamper away while you stand there with an empty net. Understandably, that’s pretty much the gist of how any writer would describe the idea, the urge, the immediate pang, the bite that starts off a thread in the mind. I imagine there are many of those unharnessed ones that are flowing and floating around all of us, and if I don’t catch that snippet, someone else will and it will become their baby.

But then again, answer me this. If this story was indeed burrowing through you from one the many experiences you’ve personally winnowed out, then it isn’t really lost now is it?

There’s another fascinating view on harnessing the creative genius, but am going to save that, as it warrants a whole new post. The lady just cannot be clubbed away.

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18 replies on “nothing is lost”
  1. I think I know the feeling…the sudden inspiration, descending softly like snow, amidst the seemingly uninspiring banalities of life. It leaves you all charged up and itching to write. Good for us if we can winnow out or indeed tunnel through. Too bad if we hesitate too long and the moment steals past us. Shall wait for your next.

    1. says: rads

      Oh most definitely you know the feeling. Bloggers are ‘writers incognito’, however casual or aimless one may write. There’s always a point behind a post right?

  2. says: A&N

    I totally know what you mean by ‘biting in the leg and moving off’ I’ve had that experience so many many times, and that is why I don’t blog often. Sometimes, I finish a post in 5 mins and if someone (ahem!) interrupts me, hell hath no fury like a woman interrupted, they say of me 😉

  3. i save stuff as drafts in the mobile… sometimes i read it later and wonder what was so special about the moment, especially if a lot of time has passed 🙂
    in a way, Twitter helps me capture thoughts/moments these days, but only if they can be done in 140 characters or less 🙂

    1. says: rads

      heh, see, that’s what I mean. The idea could remain in words, but the aura and the image and sensation the words carried is what one needs to trap down. I have about 14 drafts sitting, catch is, a few don’t make sense to post now as the essence is lost in time. 🙂

    1. says: rads

      Enna puriyala?
      All I was rambling along was that if you allow yoruself to experience life and the nuances of it, likehow opena child is, it creates certain waves and markers within you which could be harnessed as your very own creative spirit.

  4. says: Roshni

    the fact that I have been able to still maintain vivid memories and write detailed descriptive essays of my childhood is assurance enough to me that nothing is lost!

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