My Sweet Escape

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I should really warn you about what I’m about to write, about what you’re about to read. But, here’s a tiny, little secret I’ve never told anyone; I don’t have the slightest idea what that may be either. For, I rarely ever do.

But then again, for me, writing is like breathing. As always, my fingers lie poised, and then they seem to play almost by themselves on the keyboard, to a melody only they can hear. And so, words dance around, entangling mixed emotions, forming little sentences, with memories so raw and feelings that are almost palpable once more.  The simplest and dearest of pleasures, I have come to know, is inking in these words, weaving them together, and watching them gently sprawl their way across the page.

Those who write tend to feel with emotions that most certainly would suffocate most. It is precisely this that enables the feelings to flow freely into simple, little words.

Lately, I have had quite a lot on my mind. And, I keep finding myself delving deeper and deeper into the very corners of my shell of introspection. Somedays, one may feel blue for no apparent reason. I reverted to ice-cream & chocolate therapies – Did it do any good? Not quite… unless getting bloated and ending up with about twenty zits on your face is what you were aiming for.

As we pave our way through life, the winding road twists and turns. Some of these twists good, and some not-so-good. Heck, it might even seem as life itself is working hard to thwart one’s pursuit of happiness.  For a while, we may lose our footing. Look within yourself, and find it in yourself to keep going on, just glide forward. They say all good things will come to an end. I strongly disagree. Good things will fall apart only so that better things fall together. People may come, and people may go. But, writing, it seems, will forever beckon me. ..

For me, writing is one of life’s simple pleasures – it whisks you away to a world where it’s you, just you, at peace. It’s where my thoughts rein free, my words hang unchained, and my spirits fly right into the clouds. The things that take each one of us to places vary – Lavender sunrises, the smell right after it rains, the breaking of dawn, the birth of a baby, the sounds of a bird chirping, or a game of football, a run early in the morning. Whichever yours may be will always serve as a “sweet escape”.

And for me, that’s my writing.

Write, and you shall grow to love it. And one day, it will become a part of you that no one could ever take away. So to all those who want to write, I say, please do write. For, anyone can write. If it is your purpose & your being, it will forever summon you. And in time, it becomes the very beat of our heart.  A beautiful thing, it certainly is.

..

“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”
—Enid Bagnold

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

After three long years of waiting, Mark finally headed home. The war had come to an end, and so had Mark’s service in the army. Mark stared out of the window, trying to contemplate all that had happened in the last few years. He had been waiting for this day for so long, to escape the horrors of war – the revolting sight and smell of blood and burning flesh, the raging hunger, months of freezing nights, days of lying spread-eagled under thorny bushes, months of agonizing thoughts after so many brutal killings, and the constant feeling of impending doom.

They say that wars can make men become wild savages who are nothing like who they had been before, but Mark was not among those who took pleasure in killing. He hadn’t been able to fit in with the rest of them, those who relished every kill. As time went by, Mark had gotten quieter – a prisoner of guilt and repulsion. He was careful not to let the others see how he felt, and so he had mastered the art of bottling up his emotions. Loneliness, repulsive nightmares and an insatiable yearning for his family had often kept him up at night. To be away from his family was the utmost test, Mark would try to picture his family but the images kept getting blurry and the memories vague as time wore on. They say that time heals all, but apparently, this could not have been more wrong. He had left at a time when his son Rick was starting school, and Dolores, his wife, had another baby on the way. There were times when Mark despised himself for missing out on his family’s lives, but he knew that it had never been in his control.

So much had changed now. He thought about Melissa, his daughter, whom he had not even seen. ‘I am a stranger to my own children’ he thought dejectedly. The letters from home had been few, and he had read every one of them over and over again, tracing his fingers tenderly along the lines.

Coming out of his reverie, Mark realized that the plane had just landed. Twenty minutes later, he was in a cab and going back home for the first time in three years. A strange sensation assailed Mark – he was happier than he had been in a long, long time, but at the same time, he felt somewhat apprehensive. ‘Will I be greeted with open arms, or do they hate me for not being there for them?’ he wondered.

Soon, Mark stood outside his doorstep and stared at his house for the longest time. How he had missed home! He paused, took a deep breath, plastered an awkward smile on his face, attempted to ease his face in what he hoped was a relaxed expression and rang the doorbell. He heard hurried footsteps, laughter and then the door opened. For a moment, he stared at his family, and they at him. For the first time in years, Mark’s face stretched in a genuine smile and in that moment, he rediscovered happiness – being reunited with the ones his heart had been aching for so very long. “Funny how you can’t seem to smile the way you used to, long suffering, huh? I see a permanent frown” Dolores joked, her eyes water – Mark’s misgivings fell away. The family stayed up late, catching up on each other’s lives, drinking in each other’s words and thanking the heavens for being together once more.

The next morning, before dropping the kids off at school, Dolores made Mark pose for a picture with Rick and Melissa. The three bore an uncanny resemblance – the same scrunched up foreheads, and the same faltering and conscious smiles.

Mark, with Rick and Melissa