Behind the creation of a poem or thought provoking essay or epoch making fiction a subjective mind is in action involving the senses, feelings, ideas, intellect and above all, the heart of the creator. In a market place one may write a report or a feature but any classic or sublime creation essentially requires a dipping into the inner self of the creator. The creative process requires not the poet or writer alone but the surrounding, a suitable ambience of the creative bower. Not during the Writer’s cramp, that is a barren experience, but when the writer is in his full form he requires a suitable place to dwell in to write.
In earlier times when forests and mountains, seas and dales, rivers lakes and gales were full of natural beauties, waters full to the brim, when country sides were aplenty even after the construction of towns and other urban areas, people would often retire to such places to be in the midst of Nature’s bounty, in the lap of her wellness to recuperate, to be refreshed for work with renewed vigour, to be alone to create. But more the time is passing more we are losing such beauties from life, more the time is passing more denuded we become. A city dweller is living within a concrete jungle with narrow passages everywhere to be shared by many. More the civilization progresses more the people are gasping for space, for breath, for mind-space and heart-space. When ordinary people are placed in so difficult positions, what of a poet or writer! As if a fish out of water at times, he dallies with urban nastiness, sordid things of life. The vulgar was and is still popular; it is easy to handle it; that is what has been happening all around us.
But even when writing of such areas of life which is ever on the rise, a poet or writer requires right ambience to create. For finer or subtler the creations deeper and higher energies and faculties are in use. From mind one rises to higher mind, illumined mind, intuitive mind and to overmind or higher still. Mind is the greatest field of work. And surely one cannot deny the part played by the heart in every artistic creation. After all, a super sense plays its part to create and for such climbing the heights and dipping the deeps what the poet and writer or even artists of different types require is the silence. The silence required first in the inside of the artist to be helped by the surroundings. A creator’s mind cannot remain a market place when he creates. But for that a suitable surrounding too is much required. More beauteous the place blessed by nature’s bounty more it is helpful for Nature is always creative, helping man to create. Lesser the hulabaloo better is the chance to have a controlled, silenced mind.
St. Lawrence river, connecting lake Ontario and lake Erie bypasses Niagara Falls. The beauty of thousands of coloured islands scattered on both sides of the waterway, in the middle and beyond, with coloured modern huts sometimes connected by high flown bridge with eternal trees showing kaleidoscopic colours of the maple and other trees during the fall look like coloured fantasy. They remain only a tale told by a traveller unless the reader can visualize it through his high imagination. These islands called me to settle as I was attracted during the time I was cruising through them in motor lunch as a writer’s paradise. I heard that the modern Istanbul with its ancient dome and mosques, clean paths and peaceful cats invite artists to settle for work. So is modern Singapore with clean roads and rows of trees with gentle wind passing through them invite poets and writers to settle for culture and creation. India with its mystic forests, singing rivers and islands sheltered many great creators of the lore like Valmiki, Vyasa and Kalidasa. But of late every powerful man is out to dig the entrails of the forests and destroy all natural resources for their personal benefit in the name of country’s progress. Such places are getting rare day by day for a peaceful settlement.
Settlement is far from modern man’s thought as he cannot dream of such places to settle in his hut, or to live by a river side or in a Mughal garden or American ranch. Alternately I think of really escaping at times like our black cat for a few days, no one knows where, to capture the mood and image of my next creation, to meditate on an idea superb. Following Virginia Wolf’s thought that even a room of my own in a corner of the house with requisite silence and creative mood may give birth to classic literature in a modern milieu, I try to remain there. Even this little possibility is spoilt at times when your near and dear ones, friends and relatives, surround you. I really escape such a situation sometimes explicitly but mostly by silent avoidance; remaining stubbornly at my place without inviting any, avoiding a community lunch. It may look selfish attitude but in a modern world this is a way to continue to create, even at the cost of being socially ostracized.
© Aju Mukhopadhyay, 2013