On the Imperative to Write


Tonight, I’m present to my longing to write—my longing for the self I uncover, the self that I give birth to, whenever I take the time to actually follow one coherent line of thought (or, rather, when I take the time to shoo various lines of thought into some semblance of order) rather than be borne along the endless stream of inchoate chatter.

This month has been so ridiculously busy. I’ve never taught so many yoga classes in so short a span of time. I feel I’ve grown tremendously as a result—as a teacher and as a practitioner—but I can’t be sure. I can’t be sure until I’ve written about the experience, digested it and regurgitated it in a form that bears and embodies crystalline conviction.

Writing is how I manufacture my truths, how I appropriate my life, how I sediment my history. There were years when I didn’t write, and as a result, I barely recall my life during those years. On the contrary, the two years that I made it a painstaking habit to write everyday were the two most vivid years of my life, because I lived that life at least twice over: first in reality and second in recollection. These last three weeks, I’ve written perhaps just three or four times, and while there’s liberation on the one hand, there’s also sadness on the other: sadness because these three busy weeks feel like phantom weeks.

Writing is how I hold on to my life, how I keep it from slipping entirely from my grasp. It’s not entirely accurate to say I write for myself. It’s more precise to say that I write so that I can have a self.

This, of course, is not how it is for others. But I feel that I cannot be any other way (a feeling that has surety because it has been reflected upon and put in writing).

All of which means, I must go back to writing. Few realized obligations have borne so much solace.

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