Dear _ ,
I find that as soon as I begin to write as if in a letter, I write differently. As if the letter might reach someone, maybe you. Today, I am wondering what it is like to have a day suitable for a novel. I have not written for more than two months now and still find no particular inclination to write.
I assumed that the romance of the place, the birds, the trees, the lack of internet even would drive me to write. I imagined writing passionate letters to you, continuing half-written stories and hoping that this page would be filled with a long list of vignettes from the extraordinary things that happen here everyday in the nothingness. I imagined I would read such excellent novels that they would serve as my muse even if I were shut up inside a tiny box-like room. I imagined that if I were present again in the same environment that produced writing that has lasted more than a year, I would write again- afresh, anew. The Usha ceiling fan runs well, still. The house is still as decapitated as before- leaky roof, wet walls, lights that don’t work, doors termite-ridden and littered with the kind that creeps and crawls let in everyday through little holes in mosquito meshes and little cracks in the walls. I take bath regularly with frogs and a lizard or two. You have to keep an eye on them, it’s a staring contest until one falls on your head and you vigorously shake it off. They splat, don’t fall, have you noticed?
I have seen things here that I have never before experienced in life, yet I feel unable to write. One could say that I have been weary by the end of everyday after having been out in the humidity. My fingers and toes swell up to little bulbs, causing my little toe much pain as it presses against my shoes. When I return at night, I am exhausted but also filled with the fullness of the day. Then why can’t I write? Where do the words go? There are plenty little spaces for them to slip through and into the forest. Is that what happens? It’s possible. Because it’s just as full of sound as always, the trees stay quiet only until they begin long periods of music. The birds sound cacophonous as if something has happened but they are the only thing that is happening. Yet, I have nothing poignant to say about them.
I’m quite melancholic about how unable I feel to write. And then I think of how beautifully you write and feel a touch of self-pity. There are no raw mangoes on the tree outside even though the branch hangs low. The smell of mangoes and the rain is distinctly missing- these could all be reasons for the lack of words. As for the reading I hoped to do, I have been reading some and even though I am not struck by anyone’s writing as such it captivates me so. That’s where I found this little trinket to begin the letter, what does it mean to have a day suitable for a novel? Is it filled with nothingness or is it filled with events?
The river, by the way is just as exquisite.