She echoes my writer self. I am sitting here looking into what seems like a well, but I am dragged into it and soon the reflection is not water. It is solid matter as I hit my head on the ground.
Lady Gaga's quotes from a piece she wrote for 'V' are being showcased for reasons of her narcissism and obsessiveness, but she is delving deep. That well I was looking into could be her.
For two days I did not write. Deliberately. It was deliberated upon. Until now, I was utterly charmed by my ability to slake my thirst with words. The happenings around pummelled me and I was left gasping or angry or wounded. It has often affected me. That is not as worrisome as my complete subservience to what I write. What I imagined was a natural part of me I realise now to be an addiction. Some might say it is pleasant, but it has had a deleterious effect. Not because someone decides to seal my fate, or cannot fathom the complexity of certain thoughts, or finds them simplistic for their world-view is not my world-view and most prefer Disney characters to the dark nooks, unless one can caricature them, and the media so loves to do that.
The effect it has is internal. I begin to feel ill when I do not write. I get irritable, I do not behave normal. There are a couple of people who have seen me in this state and it is not nice. I transform. Writing can be a huge part of my life, but must it replace it? I was cogitating upon these when Lady Gaga’s words touched a chord immediately. Let us travel together through some of what she said and what it means to me:
- I have said before that I am a master of escapism, which many attribute to my wigs, performances, and my natural inclination to be grand, but perhaps that is also a lie. Maybe I am not escaping. Maybe I am just being. Being myself.
Think about the many situations writers write about. When do the lines between creation and creator just tumble over each other? I write a lot on topical issues and one might not imagine it possible to escape from what is reality while analysing it. It is. I am reacting; this is cathartic and therefore escape. All purging is escape, a denial of retention. I hate to say this, but I believe that by responding to everything around one becomes a puppet, even if the subconscious self does the string pulling.
Is this me, these wigs of ideas, the grand stand that may in fact appear to be lies if seen from the perspective of one ideology that negates another? I know I am being myself. Yet…and here is Lady G again:
- The lines for myself have become so blurred now, I know not the difference between a moment of performance and a moment of honesty. If you were to ask me to remove my Philip Treacy hat at a party, in truth it is the emotional and physical equivalent of requesting I remove my liver. Talk about giving “clutching her pearls” a new meaning! I know not the difference between the hair that grows from my head and the teal wigs that grow from my imagination. They are the same. They are both honest, and always have been. So maybe I know nothing of “the art of escapism.” I was just Born This Way. I revere the dream to be real. I am always, and shall forever be, private in public.
Private in public. Think about it. Writers sit in their worlds, making new worlds – places, people, verse, prose, plots. We go back to cook, eat, bathe, shop, have relationships, and even ‘connect’ with real anonymous people. What is the truth here? The latter is a fact; the truth is larger, in that it is the submerged imagination ticking away. I know that if you take away my words, I cannot tell you who I am. I have forgotten.
I watch television and even the soaps seem to be ‘material’ to explore, to deconstruct, to analyse.
I read the newspapers and every bit looks like it has to be torn apart. I, too, am not ‘escaping’, for I know that each time I make a travel itinerary, it is with the intention of writing. My plans work around that – the laptop, pen drives, notepads, several pens and pencils to doodle. I go shopping in these new places and, of course, something happens that invariably leads to an experience. It could well be interesting, but after I have picked up the bags and sat down for a coffee, I bring out my little notepad or my phone and am jotting down observations. Do I not taste the coffee? I do, perhaps giving it more importance than it merits.
So, what happened in the two days I did not write? I took a dust cloth, wiped the laptop, and then sat down, immobile for long, because I ceased to exist. The food, the shower, and the clothes I wore were things stuffed into what seemed like an automaton. I began to feel nauseous, drowsy and my hands went numb. Yes, numb from not writing.
These are withdrawal symptoms and I took a good look at myself in the mind’s mirror and saw imaginary lines scrawled on my face – incomplete sentences. I am doomed. My escape has become my life.
(c) Farzana Versey