It wasn’t long ago when I couldn’t even begin to imagine myself staring at a blank page and putting words together to fill up that page. In the first place, I couldn’t even imagine myself reading more than anything that was required. Rather, I probably wouldn’t have picked up a textbook even if that meant making or breaking the grade.
Now, though, it has become very different. Ever since I started writing, I couldn’t begin to imagine myself not writing something, anything, at least once each day. I couldn’t see myself not reading anything at all at any given day. And as much as I can already see myself picking up a textbook when it is absolutely necessary, I have also come to recognise the fact that there is such a big world out there just waiting for me to come and see them.
And I can also begin to imagine that maybe, just maybe, writing did save my life. Perhaps not during the storm itself, but a few days later.
During the first few days after the storm, there was so much to see. So many places your feet want to bring you to. So many stories your ears want to hear. Of course, there were also so many scents your nose would never have wanted to smell.
However, some time later, when the reality sets in and the dust has settled, so to speak, you are faced with the fact that you really have been moved someplace else despite the fact that you were in the same place. Those things which were once the norm has gone. Those which you were once connected to have been cut off.
The world has changed and not for the good. Suddenly, you had to face a reality that you never would have wanted to contend with. And there was hardly any way out.
That’s when a certain dark atmosphere settles over you. A pall of gloom covers you. And the joy of having lived through something so terrible suddenly disappears only to be replaced by a sadness which apparently didn’t have reason.
It might have been what people would call depression. And I might have just gone through that. Or, at least, they were signs. Such as when you get to be so bored you want to do something, anything if only you could get out of that dark pit of the standstill you find yourself in even if it was to tear the world apart.
I had to acknowledge that I might have started falling into an abyss that might have proved exceptionally difficult to get out of if I didn’t do anything soon. So, I did. Thankfully, by some miracle, I managed to keep some sheets of paper dry. More specifically, a few notebooks and a sketchpad. And I had a few pens that still worked.
While I have never truly done pen and paper before those days, I certainly spent a lot of time with them during that period. I was writing about a lot of things, but mostly what was happening in the new world which I found myself in. A few weren’t very pleasant but, whatever they were, they most definitely kept me busy.
I have heard it said in a movie once that artists have so much to be thankful for because, no matter how hard they try to forget their art, when everything suddenly goes wrong, when life comes at you unexpectedly, when the world gets you surprised, artists always have somewhere to fall back to, somewhere they can just pour everything out, somewhere they can break themselves into so that they can become whole again.
The movie most probably didn’t say it that way but I now understand it better. And while I can’t call myself an artist solely because I wanted to call myself so, I acknowledge that writing has done me more good than I ever would have thought it would.
It is because I have started writing that I find myself still able to write today and not find myself so deep into a pit of blackness that nothing might have pulled me out of.