To be inspired is to be in the presence of the above names, whether it is in the form of reality or text.
Last semester I was admitted (peculiar?) to the creative writing class organised by Fadia Faqir.
I had never attended a writing class and had dismissed my early penchant for writing as a whim – self-doubt, a streak of perfectionism and too hectic a timetable meant that I rarely indulged in the act of story-creation.
It surprises me weekly how captivated I am by Fadia: for two hours I am spell-bound by her advice, anecdotes and guidance.
Sometimes my mouth even hangs open.
She chooses the right literary examples, critiques us with a fierce gentleness and warns of the pitfalls in a manner that sears the words into our conciousness.
I am, in short, more inspired than I have ever been in a classroom and that she approved of my submissions blows me away.
(Today we covered metaphors. I am not happy about the above cliché-ending, but it is late and I am Arabic-ed out).
Two authors induced gasps at their genius; the excerpts caught my breath with their beauty, evocativeness and emotion.
First, is Samuel Beckett, taken from Westward Ho (1983):
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
Brief, but mighty.
Next is the most formidable example of a metaphor: not only is the writing elegant, but once you grasp that it portrays the act of crying, there isn’t a metaphor that could do the reaction justice.
There was a light now in each cavern, lights faint as the starlight reflected in the crystals of a granite cliff. The lights increased, acquired definition, brightened, lay each sparkling at the lower edge of the cavern. Suddenly, noiselessly, the lights became thin crescents, went out, and streaks glistened on each cheek. The lights appeared again, caught among the silver curls of the beard. They hung, elongated, dropped from curl to curl and gathered at the lowest tip. The streaks on the cheek pulsed as the drops swam down them, a great drop swelled at the end of the hair of the beard, shivering and bright. It detached itself and fell in a silver flash.
Here’s to creativity and vomiting on the page.