Ishaisms

Enjoying obscurity

What a strange breed we writers are! What a strange set of preferences we have – a pursuit of the spotlight, yet also the veil of the wings.

We have our grey areas – those frequently trodden, yet still, somehow obscure and personal domain, somewhere between black and white roads, a place to reflect and rethink and restart and re-whatever, if you will… I’ve always wandered there, a safe zone of sorts.

A safe zone – something I often see many writers retreating to – an obscure name, an obscure path…but never an obscure purpose. Maybe we enjoy the obscurity, the feathery vagueness of a pseudonym, the little inner space to create, away from the endless tittle tattle of the crowd, the eyes of onlookers, of thieves and snakes… (sigh, once bitten by those it’s an ordeal to heal). Maybe, then, in light of all this, obscurity is better so. It eliminates familiarity and offers a certain security conducive to artistic creation. Those that cloak themselves perhaps do know better. They must be the clever ones, the smarter ones.

I look back upon the time when Ishaisms was a safe space for me, an obscure little bird full of purpose to break the chains, rattling away with passion, creating and being – until the obscurity began fading away bit by bit and with exposure and freedom, came the familiar discomfort of the introvert pursuit of writing – an old fear, and new faces – many friendly; many that turned a friendly face away; and some unfriendly, but seemingly otherwise – with wily smiles and itchy palms to snatch a word here, a phrase there and strip away at creation, plundering the safe space, scattering away the feathers of the quill, and letting the ink drip, drip, drip… I dread rattling the chains now, dread flying even – that the noise may summon another well known, (sometimes a little too well known) thief of words, and I, too tired to fight, might lose even the will to create.

Like most of my fellow writers, I’ve been guilty of glorifying the past (not its mortality rate, which might be the go-to for many debaters of this point – and which I shall smugly rebut with the current pandemic situation!), been called hopelessly romantic and that oh-so-frequently used word dreamer, yet, I still have a great reverence and ache for the obscurity of the past – the obscurity that fueled the desire to create, where one after the other, the greats followed, with art unpolluted by opinions and political correctness, and each honed their own craft instead of coveting and stealing another’s – there was honour in endeavour, and creation was the victor, endeavour was the victor, purpose, was the victor.

Now, tossed from its pedestal to every plebian pedestrian, pure poetry and prose, is a thing of the past, pun intended, and phrases put together happily like various different wet clothes hanging out to dry, (pardon the barely qualifying image, but that’s the point), is the evolution (one might stop here to question the very meaning of the term) of the art – I sigh and wonder – acceptance comes at a price, and settles in, unsettlingly posing the question that if this is evolving, if this is leaving the safe zone, if this is the future, where do I, or do I even, stand?

ยฉ Isha Garg

33 thoughts on “Enjoying obscurity”

  1. Your post tugs at my heart, shines the light on where I am willing or not willing to look. I tend to enjoy living in my fantasy world of only purity in poetry, prose, posture, perspective, and utmost honor and regard for each other. It works for me. Until it doesn’t. It has bitten me sharply in my naivety of relations, I still like to pretend my writing world is different and perfect so. My present does look at the past romantically and hopes this present would be a similar past – the dreamer that you describe yearns to stay alive. Pray what contribution can this dreamer be to the dreamer in you – a question I ask. For I believe in standing together on this ground that seems to shift underneath unwarned. Perhaps we are meant to float above it all? Find the wonder of the view and horizon from way up there – I don’t know if I still make sense, just grateful for your post that helped me see a lot. Healing Love ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’›

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, beautiful insight! Sometimes, seeing eye to eye on an ever renewing belief and relating to another dreamer is contribution enough – standing together like you say! ๐Ÿ˜Š To floating above the madness with hopeful eyes to the horizon and a better day – with no mediocrity, pollution and plagiarism – Cheers!

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  2. Oh dear! eaglets must attain flight at all cost when the daily fodder becomes tasteless. Time to leave the comfortable nest and be your formidable self. The currents will always faithfully find your wings. Youโ€™ve proven time and time again, line by precious line, youโ€™re ready. If I canโ€™t look up and see you gracefully soar which causes my heart erratic excitement to join, who then, will be there and inspire me to take the plunge โ€ฆ forth?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Poet!

      Comfort, encouragement and kindness worded so eloquently in your comment, that for a moment I must allow myself to stray from the message and admire your artistry!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Isha. Per those charges of “hopeless romantic” and “dreamer” hurled your way, I just posted another poem, and here’s a piece of backstory you might like. A friend here in central Mexico who has published a few books of poetry is of a darker temperament than I am. He and I and his girlfriend (a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy) were joking about that the other day, and so I sent them said poem with the following note: “Hereโ€™s a little poem of mine. I think itโ€™s a carrier of my naรฏve idealism (a topic of much mirth in our discussion) — all bright with no darkness, but I can never really be sure. My poems usually have some melancholia folded into them, even when I canโ€™t see it. Actually, the more I look at it, I can feel melancholia in my PERSONAL relation to this poem, but I donโ€™t think that figures into the public display. You can decide. (Sorry, Cali, this poem sort of throws philosophy [and religion] under the bus in its focus on the living, breathing, sensual immediacy of life ๐Ÿ˜Š Gary

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    1. Gary, my sincerest apologies – I found this comment under my pending ones! I’m going over to your blog to look for the poem.
      Someone once said to me, the truest poets are idealists, and the cynical ones are just the failed idealists, but idealists within, nonetheless. Your backstory reminded me of that!

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      1. And I am reminded of that scene in Dr. Zhivago where Victor warns Lara that the young man, Pasha, is high-minded, pure, idealistic, and therefore a breeding ground for bitterness and unhappiness. As evil as Victor is, his shrewd sense of human identity proves true in this thread (although the movie โ€” I havenโ€™t read the book โ€” is not reducible to this thread). Ok, Pasha is the extreme case, but we poets/idealists do need to beware of the risk of fall that is built into our idealism. Hopefully, if we fall, weโ€™ll just become cynical poets like my friend and not [โ€ฆ spoilers redacted โ€ฆ] like Pasha ๐Ÿ™‚

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      2. This had me laughing. Poets, especially, the idealists, romantics, look at the world through such a different lens – which, some might stereotype as rose colored, but it’s just the way we’re wired. That’s how we think, feel, and create. There’s always the blurring of lines, the grey area, the madness with the genius, the bravery with stupidity and the potential of disillusionment and cynicism which you talk about, and Victor intuits of Pasha, with the ‘naive idealism’.
        I would, like a true idealist like to believe in a world where we do not suffer the proverbial fall to cynicism – since that’s where (I’d like to think) I’ve evolved from, but then life is so cyclic in some ways and the wheel has its highs and lows, composition flows and creation occurs in all periods and who knows about what our words may smack of in such times?

        I hope I made sense. ๐Ÿ˜„

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  4. Sigh! How do you write all that I want to express, all that I feel and all the conversations that I have with myself inside my head. Writing always gave us freedom, a freedom to escape the mundane, to dwell in a place that we create, a place more real than reality. May be it allowed us, allows us to just be, just exist. And as far glorifying the past-the past is nostalgic. I have often wondered how we quite forget the sorrows of the past and dwell on the happy moments, the souvenirs, the laughter, joys, and lament that they are gone, only wishing that we could relive them. Perhaps in the future the present will seem adorable but for now I like the simplicity of the past, the good old days as we call them.

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    1. Parikhit, it doesn’t surprise me anymore seeing how similar our thoughts on most things are – your first sentence there, is more often than not, my exact thought when reading anything you post! I’m glad you enjoyed this post – obscure as it was, lol. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Hope you’re well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes we find the greatest pearls of wisdom in obscurity! May be life is one giant blob of obscurity that looks scintillating when viewed from a certain angle, much like a kaleidoscope.
        Iโ€™ve been well ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay safe and well ๐Ÿ™‚

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      2. I’m glad you’ve been well and so sorry for missing replying to this wonderfully insightful comment, Parikhit. Interestingly, it makes so much sense to me at this present time of my life that I feel like there were synchronicities at work in my missing it then. Thanks a lot! ๐Ÿ’›

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  5. I ran out of levels to reply in our thread, Isha ๐Ÿ™‚ โ€” I also lost my connection so delete if this pops up twice โ€” but here goes. Iโ€™ve made it this far with my naive idealism โ€” getting burned more often than my cynical friends but smiling a lot more often too โ€” Iโ€™m good with that. Iโ€™m going to ride this happy train to the bitter end ๐Ÿ™‚ Gary

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    1. First, let me thank you for such an interesting conversation, Gary; second, mention how timely your words “getting burned more often than my cynical friends but smiling a lot more often too” are for me (I don’t believe in coincidences, and feel that maybe somewhere I was meant to find this comment today just so it’d lead up to that line); and lastly, let me wish you all the best on this journey you’ve chosen – the best train ride ever!

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      1. Hahaha. So happy to be of use to one of my best friends I never met, Isha ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, letโ€™s leave โ€œcoincidenceโ€ for those who need to force everything into the daily grind of cause-and-effect; letโ€™s go with something more inclined to see the imagination free โ€ฆ maybe fate or destiny or synchronicity or (Iโ€™m running out of variations here) the joyful exuberance of a universe unfolding itself in just the right way ๐Ÿ™‚ Gary

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    1. I found this in my “unreplied” comments and was so puzzled because I distinctly remembered reading and thinking about the rollercoaster image! Silly me failed to press on the reply thingy. Hehe. My apologies, Larisa, you’ll find the reply just below this one.

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  6. Hey Isha. I don’t see a contact link, so I’ll just throw this out here. My chapbook of poems, “Year of the Butterfly,” is temporary at 99c (kindle/in $US), if youโ€™d like to try it. But DONโ€™T feel obligated to buy. Most of my family and friends havenโ€™t ๐Ÿ˜Š. Anyway, feel free to delete this — I didn’t mean to hijack your post with a self-promo, but didn’t see a private message option. Gary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thanks for the information, Gary. I’ll certainly check it out.
      Also, there’s no harm in friends self promoting their work here – my readers might find this information useful ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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