Thursday, July 9, 2009

In My Element

It is quite hard to be in your element when life turns routine. Daily chores make your days normal, and everything chugs on in the usual way. And sometimes, that is all it takes to rob your mind of its creative instinct. It is quite easy to fall prey to life’s monotony. When you don’t spare time to smell the roses along your journey, your creative senses start to hibernate quietly. You know you are thinking differently when you wake up to listen to the news instead of the cheerful wind chimes in your balcony, and you begin to worry about how you’ll cook for lunch instead of being excited about trying something new. You realize it when you start to write only to discover that it now takes some serious effort to narrate those same old stories which flowed with effortless grace though your fingertips a long time ago. If your creativity isn’t fluid, you will now see nothing of interest in places that hold even the most precious of secrets. And I guess that’s why I’ve been away from my blog for an entire month.

A mystery novel lay forgotten behind a heavy chemistry textbook. As days wore on, the pages of the chemistry book turned. They were highlighted, underlined, dog-eared and understood. The Agatha Christie beckoned, but I told myself I was just too busy. The four letter word was an answer to all complaints. It was easy to play the blame game. It was after many days that I admitted that I needed to catch up with life. I guess life was waiting for just that. It was kind enough to immediately change the plans for me. It made sure that I had one of the most relaxing summer holidays ever, allowing me to escape routine so quickly.

Something stirred deep inside when I looked out through my car window and thought the midsummer skies were beautiful. Favorite rhythms repeated in my ears and the drive turned longer. The world dissolved into a blissful daydream, imagination reignited. It was a quiet getaway like none other. I was off to Big Sur County.

I never knew this place, and didn’t have expectations. But the experience gave me much more than I thought I would receive. When I arrived, the Pacific was at it again. Squeezing through the gaps in crumbling rocks, twisting through them to sculpt caverns, creating tide pools which hid a thousand life forms. These sights held me long. I enjoyed the scenery. There were the picnic benches and the lively laughter. I was shoeless on the shore, talking....Now, the world awakened to my provocation, more bold and interesting than ever.

There were also the panoramic views of sandy beaches, and I nostalgically recollected my visit to the 17 mile drive. The bloated ocean calmly sweeping such large expanses of water aroused so many mixed emotions. I was breathless. Engineering marvels of bridges captivated me. I was thankful that I was looking at them in those terms instead of viewing them as to merely consist of steel and arches.

Late evening was spent relaxing by a creek side, legs thrown into the cool waters. Steaming coffee, the comfortable shade of trees and soft singing. Receding heat and changing colours—it was contentment at its deepest. I observed the little rocks inside the creek catch the sun, a blue-jay fretting about innocently. They both looked beautiful. People sang the songs I had heard so many times. But this time, something was different. This time, I actually listened, keenly following the words being carried away by the wind. This time, I appreciated & applauded. The blue-jay hung about to listen too and that excited me. Yes, something had changed again, my brain said…and I couldn’t possibly have asked for more. In that deep contentment, I realised at the bottom of my heart that I was back in my element....