There was once a despairing Writer, who hadn’t written a word in years. She sat in her swivel chair, facing her desk and stared blankly at the blank screen in front of her.
One day, at four o’clock in the afternoon, on a Wednesday, after lunch, after chores, after two hours of sitting in mind-silence, the Writer let out a despairing sigh. It was a howl more than a sigh and it blew away the loose sheaves of copier paper she always kept by the side of the study table for notes and lists.
‘That’s it,’ the Writer exclaimed. ‘I’ve had it! I’ve been sitting alone in this chair for all these years, morning, afternoon, night! I’ve let go of my friends, my job, my other interests, television, chocolate, even red velvet cake! All to write! And in these years I’ve been following all the advice about sitting down and willing myself to write. For what? To write Facebook and Twitter updates? Or to rearrange my endless planning files? Or write the working title of the Defining Indian Novel over and over? Is that it? Where is my fiction?’
Her rant had steadily increased in volume and the neighbour kids playing in the park below ceased running and shrieking for a moment to turn and stare up at the window the shrieks were coming from.
The sudden silence strengthened the resolve that had been building, unbeknownst to the Writer, in her innermost mind. She shut down the computer, put away the papers, took a shower, got dressed in street clothes and for the first time in months went out for a walk.
The air was so fresh outside, almost new! The slanting ochre sun welcomed her, there were spring flowers smiling from ground and tree. Even the honking of car horns seemed cheerful.
The Writer stopped. There was something strange moving in the shadows, made stranger by peripheral vision. She turned and peered through the wire fence. Through two sets of wire fences she saw them. Four curly-wurly balls of squealing fur, jumping on each other around a flower bed. Mother cat lay watchfully a foot away while her four vari-coloured kittens, maybe two weeks old, played and played, with the peculiar absorbed innocence of the very young.
The Writer watched entranced, the wires faded away, the unselfconsciously joyful kittens in their tiny world became the world. Dusk deepened around the kittens, till they faded into the grounds. The Writer awakened, as if after a deep and refreshing sleep, and walked on with a smile and a few tears winking at puzzled passersby.
She got home in a daze. Shut the door, picked up a pen and a notebook, curled up on the sofa and began to write.