January 12, 2016

Musings for 2016

Nature's Gift on New Year's Day

Another sparkling new year is upon us; actually, to be perfectly precise, twelve days of a new year already upon us.

The year had just started when I started reading about many bloggers planning on resuscitating their virtually lifeless blogs and posting much more regularly, daily even. The blog, it seemed, was not dead, after all. I then thought of my blog, this aqua-blue-white space (the background being an oil-painting I made during an art class I took in Pittsburgh almost three years ago; I called it the Summer Storm) - and which I have neglected quite a bit in the last several months. I don't know if this blog is really me, anymore. I don't write like the way I used to five years ago. What preoccupied me then doesn't necessarily do so now. I find myself articulating a great deal through the medium of photography- and my nomad thoughts increasingly find a home in my Instagram account more than anywhere else. Perhaps, this blog can no longer encompass or reflect the scope of the journeys, literal and otherwise, I have taken in recent times.

When 2015 was drawing to a close, I was thinking of writing a swansong to the blog and mulling about starting another one. I sat down to write my annual 31st December journal entry, a ritual which I have maintained for many years now - and when I finished writing it, I found myself browsing through my previous 31 December entries in my present journal. It made me subseuqently think about all the journals I have kept since I was eight years old and my first journal was a blue paper-back book used to note down spellings of new, uncomfortable-sounding words. I haven't yet found the time or inclination to browse through all of those journals - but I like knowing that I can do so one day, to literally page through the ever-evolving novel that is my life and reflect upon its diverse, messy, rich, painful, happy, contemplative chapters. I would like to compare the differences between a 13 year old Priyanka's handwriting and that of her present one; I still want to read about the 6th grade gossip and what lessons 2015 endowed me with. These journals are those precious windows through which I can glimpse the nuanced transformation of my mindscapes over the years; these journals collectively represent the past, the most foreign country of them all which I can never go back to, whose language I cannot speak no matter how much I try.

Dada, Subodh Gupta (2014), National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi: Banyan Tree of Steel

This blog is ultimately a journal too, a public one, where I have never permitted my private thoughts entry. I read and follow many personal blogs where people ably and articulately arrange their innermost feelings but I will never be able to do that. For me, the blog is simply a nurturing, comforting, nourishing space. I like coming here to write. My first post in this blog described it as a virtual garden, that one public space which I have always greatly loved. The blog continues to be my garden. The seeds that I choose to plant here now have inevitably changed as have the color, texture, and fragrance of the blooms which spring up here. But the blog itself is a banyan tree which flamboyantly throws down its roots, whose glorious, messy, entangled beauty will become apparent only in the years to come. I remind myself that in order to access and appreciate that beauty, I must allow the blog to grow, no matter if it grows an inch one year or multiple roots in another.

So, I am still around - and shall try my best to be around more often. Let's see where this year takes me next. I do want to start a new blog though but more on that later.

For now, I would like to end with a quote I recently read in one of my favorite books, The Artist's Way: "In times of pain...I have learnt to pay attention to right now. The precise moment I was in was always the safe place for me. Each moment, taken alone, was always bearable. In the exact now, we are all, always, all right." I have always encountered challenges in practicing mindfulness and being anchored in the moment. However, if and when I find myself being able to do so, I locate it in those temples of time when I am writing or creating or musing, when I literally lose myself in that alternate, parallel universe, in which the corporeal 'I' no longer exists and the creation itself is the living entity instead. This blog is one of them, those temples of mindfulness.

Hope 2016 is treating you tremendously well, dear readers...

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