Excerpts from an Interview (A Getting to Know You Exercise)

I have not forgotten her hazel eyes
The challenge they held
I may not have taken her up then
But the score is unsettled

Ruby Mohan Unsettled

 

How it began: The poet in me was ignited by a torrid love affair with books. I devoured everything in sight from newspapers wrapped around the morning bread to unabridged, complete works of Shakespeare.

Possibly it was because I was pathetic on the sports field.

Also there is no denying the fact that I had abysmal people skills: I knew everything and I was always right.

So, standing on the outside with a rich, vivid imagination creatively sizzling and popping inside it was a natural progression for the muse to compel me to write.

 

Inspiration: the immutable belief my parents have in me.

The incredibly beautiful, awe-inspiring earth and the moods with which nature engages my mind. Flowers, trees, animals, birds and the inanimate elements like air, water, soil…

To me any understanding of a higher consciousness begins with the first step of knowing oneself and one’s relationship with the immediate environment.

Anything transcendental would step above and anything depraved would step down but I am self-appointed as it were- to watch the grass grow.

 

Influences: Shakespeare, Tennyson, Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Sarojini Naidu, Guru Rabindranath Tagore.

I especially adore everything Shelley wrote:

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;

All things by a law divine

In one spirit meet and mingle.

Why not I with thine?—

 

Writer’s Block Remedy: Writer’s block equates to ‘horse sense’ for me. It’s my gut telling me something is not aligning right with the subject. When I try to overwrite that cautionary without giving it due credence I unavoidably find myself blocked.

For remedial measures I have a high energy creative environment ‘my wall’ that compels me to take life by its proverbial horns. I paint, play golf, read, listen to music, watch movies, do gardening, photography, go shopping for inspiration all the time tinkering with new ideas on my wall.

I actively listen to the buzz about me on the streets, in the social media.

Ironically for me, the eye of the storm has to be an inner sense of calm. That serenity pervades instilling balance and purpose. So eat light. Stay healthy.

For any creativity the creator has to be bigger than their creation. Sometimes to grow introspectively I might have to ditch the project that’s branched into the Sahara of thought and pick it up sometimes years later when its time seems to have come.

Advice:  Work on ideas that inspire you. Your work should be an expression of you not an ‘impression’ you want to create. Just by being true to my own voice I have found myself come in focus sharper, highly defined. Genuine work is therapeutic. It resolves my inner crisis.  I am the happiest when I write poetry.

What’s next: A second anthology.

Does your job allow time to write? Yes.

Time spent writing the book: I have compiled poems from 2008-2016 in my first anthology

Three favorite words: Hungry, Special, Incandescent

 

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