I believe every writer, in fact, every artist has one thing they obsessively describe. It doesn’t matter how many times they talk about the said thing; it’s never enough. There’s always something new, a new layer, some new depth that they can reach with their subject or muse of choice.
For me, I’ve learnt, it is the ever-present urban sadness. I’d be lying if I said I don’t take the same walk every day. I pass the same places by, I frequent the same cafés and bars, notice the same people often, and always see something new.
People talk about escaping. I do too. Yet, for me, something always drags me back to the land of concrete and life. That’s what I can write about: countless cities, people from all walks of life. My muse is no person; my muse is how general people exist and live and breathe and cry and laugh and celebrate.
There’s a sort of beauty in the lives of the countless people that make up a city. There’s a sort of melancholy in all of our exhausted faces on a weekday evening, mine included. There’s a sort of joy there as well. There’s a relief that we’re all making it through another day.
Everyone has something to say or someplace to be. It’s difficult to explain unless you’re ready to be another faceless person in the crowds. It takes a certain underestimation of the self to blend in. I believe I’ve mastered the art of disappearing.
Yet, every artist who focuses on one muse often hits a wall when the muse inadvertently disappears. Even if I could entertain the impossible idea of walking about the city, there would barely be any people. Life is not at its general behaviour. I don’t have much to write about anymore.
My notes are filled with half-written pieces about love and whatnot, but how can I write about love unless I watch first-time lovers sharing a milkshake with two straws in a café, giggling? Some of my notes talk about grand ideas of fate, but how can I write about destiny unless I witness the myriad coincidences that occur only if you look closely?
Each sentence I write lacks something now. Every piece misses the mark. I’m at odds. I reckon the state of the world has pushed me into a corner, or perhaps, I’ve written myself into one.