Making do with pixels of clarity

“But you didn’t draw the borders!”. This is the only response I look for from my father, when I paint. It baffles me that anyone would think artwork to be well-defined only when it fits within a frame. ‘Art has no borders’ rests on my tongue uneasily, but I rather chew it into a bolus and let it rest there in my throat. I can save that statement for a philosophy class. And how did I decide that what I paint qualifies as art in the first place?

Anything less than ‘draw the borders’ now feels like an insult; it would mean, he did not bother to look out for thick black, uneasy lines surrounding the paint streaks that unintentionally walk over each other. Criticism can be the best compliment, the way you perceive it.

An incomplete picture, for now.

But didn’t we take Wordsworth seriously when he said that thing about poetry being the spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions? Let me extrapolate this to any form of writing. To write with a microscopic precision of checking the grammar, structure and punctuation is like bathing with clothes on. You simply bubble through the surface. You don’t get to scrub your skin clean. Undo that jacket, let the water soak your body.

But, letting go of the comma, semi-colon and other punctuation marks while writing, is a risky business for an aspiring editor-writer. How to get the words out if you have to police them with a grammar baton ready to come crashing on your writing hand?

While making chai, one wandering thought can get the tea dust-milk mixture spill over. You realise it’s too late when you hear the pan-support beneath the vessel hiss at you in disapproval and the flame in the burner extinguish from a full bloomed, blue lotus to nothing. This is what I want my writing to do to me. Spill out angrily and douse the fire inside. But aren’t we all told to manage our anger ever so often?

Incomplete drafts, for now.

“That you must weep with me for my sins, because I have no tears, and pray with me for my soul, because I have no faith, and then, if you have always been sweet, and good, and gentle, the Angel of Death will have mercy on me.” – Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost.

What to do with half-eaten faith? How to enjoy religion without guilt? I have no answers now, because I haven’t even walked the path fully to be weary or wise. There are times I crave for faith. To want to believe in some above-us-all higher power. I like the concept; that we rest our blown out of proportion complexes and bow before some imaginary existence to remind ourselves of how insignificant we are. God-fearing faith is what I can’t stand. No.

When I romanticize my death, I imagine someone praying for me, because I know I will be lying in my grave, with a halo made of questions floating above my head. You don’t have to be sweet and good and gentle; or either of it. You just have to be you and wish for my peaceful exit from this world.

Incomplete faith, for now.

“But when will we know enough ?”

Is the rightful deed a destination? Then the path is a rail track that me and my friend have dangerously trodden back and forth. But it is the not knowing that keeps us going; sometimes draining our fuels and sometimes making us tirelessly forge ahead. But the legs keep moving for sure.

Will we ever know sufficiently? Sometimes, we expose ourselves to too many tsunamis. If you still want to get hit by waves, take one at a time, especially when you don’t even know to swim in troubled waters. You’ll wade through eventually and the horizon will clear up.

To walking. To not knowing enough, for now.

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