So this is an ambitious attempt to learn some and write some during the 18 months I have on a fellowship. While I have had many moments of conflict prior to taking this up – I’ll be away from an Institute I really like working at for a long time, away from people I love for a very long time, and so many more reasons related to seasons and cycles of time, a large part of me wanted to take up this fellowship, so I can read some and write some more.
The domain name of the blog is inspired by Neruda’s poem, the Poet’s Obligation, which remains a North Star, ever since I discovered it with a fellow traveler and comrade.
And the reason I decided to blog was to steer clear of random musings, which although (most certainly) may arise from words that I encounter, could still be confined to the pages of my diary. This space then remains a attempt to compel myself to write regularly on questions that I am concerned with. As a writer’s obligation.
And here is Neruda’s The Poet’s Obligation:
To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to who ever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or dry prison cell,
to him I come, and without speaking or looking
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a long rumble of thunder adds itself
to the weigh of the planet and the foam,
the groaning rivers of the ocean rise,
the star vibrates quickly in its corona
and the sea beats, dies, and goes on beating.
So. Drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep
the sea’s lamenting in my consciousness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water
and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the sentence of the autumn,
I may be present with an errant wave,
I may move in and out of the windows,
and hearing me, eyes may lift themselves,
asking “How can I reach the sea?”
And I will pass to them, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and quicksand,
a rustling of salt withdrawing itself,
the gray cry of sea birds on the coast.
So, though me, freedom and the sea
will call in answer to the shrouded heart.