Yet Untiled Lite 005 - Holding Back
Drawers and Arrows 🏹 ; Letting Go to Alter the World
Howdy dear Yet Untitlers!
Welcome back to me and to you - me for being back from holiday and you for returning to this little living room of ours where we waltz inside each others’ heads for about 7 minutes every week (the sub stack app tells me that my essays are 7 minute reads on average).
Yet Untitled = YU.
Why You:) ?
God knows. Kismet?
But good kismet.
A friend and colleague shared a quote by Ben Okri that I’ve been thinking about for the past few days:
"Beware of the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world."
I won’t be so presumptuous to suggest that YU is altering your world, but it dang well’s altering mine - just by making me keep my eyes and senses open enough to nock this arrow and send it flying to you each week.
In case any of the recent (or older) YU instalments have altered your world, even slightly, will you let me know?
The ones still in the quiver…
So, YU goes out every week, rain or shine. I want to take a moment to talk about the bunch of stories, ideas, first drafts, novellas et al that don’t go out; rather, lie at the back of a drawer (or down a rabbit hole of folders and subfolders), caught in a limbo between creation and realisation (if consumption could be considered how a piece of art of culture is realised, at least in purpose).
Among these - in my collection that has grown substantially over the years - are special ones (as in - I feel they represent an important piece of me; my voice) that should be out there but for some reason live at the back of a dark drawer located just south of my chest (the flesh one, not the wooden one).
On any other day, I’d tell you that ‘circumstances’ stopped these from seeing the light of day so far. But today, I’ll tell you the truth. I played a part in holding them back.
I find that being a parent and experiencing the feelings that accompany watching my twin daughters Ananya and Aahana grow has allowed me greater insight into this.
I don’t want them to grow up!
It’s not just about losing those cheeks, their signature goofiness or their uninhibited laughter. I’m firkin’ terrified of them stepping out into the world! Which world? This here world quivering with the Greed, Anger and Foolishness (knows as The Three Poisons in Buddhism) of us.
Observing myself, I’m aware that don’t like seeing the world making a mark on my kids. I have a front row seat in watching fears bloom, bad habits form and the detritus that comes with biting the apple of knowledge settle into their lovely tabula-rasa beings.
There seems little I that I can do to stop it. Thankfully, I cannot put them at the back of a drawer! I’m grateful that I never saw this as an option. Step out into the world, they must.
This conjured up Bill Murray from Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation; particularly what his character says about how becoming a parent as being ‘the most terrifying day of (his) life’. But he goes on to talk about how one’s kids also end up becoming the most interesting people you ever meet in your life, after the rigmarole of growth and its pains has run its course.
The dialogue in question is towards the end of this wonderful scene:
PS: “Lost in Translation”, with it amazing amazing amazing use of music made me want to make films so badly. Watching it just when I was starting out in my career was like being shot forward by a bow in itself.
I don’t want my pristine stories to be marred by someone actually seeing/reading them!
It’s not about losing the comfort of having the story exist in a perfect shape inside my head and on the page. It’s about the fear of of failure, impatience for criticism.
With the story (a bundle of paper, a few MB of data), it easy to toss these into the back of a drawer. But, here’s something interesting.
I thought that they’d stay there quietly.
Contrary to my beliefs, they call out as violently as my kids would were I to close them in a dark place. Suddenly I feel horrible. What have I done??
Here, as I write this ‘lite’ instalment - I find myself a bit braver, a bit excited at suddenly having more ammunition - more arrows - to send out into the world.
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Here’s me letting go 👉 (baby steps)
“Sebastian and Rose” - a short film of mine that was hidden behind a password protected Vimeo link for the past few years - is now free for you all to view on this link.
Have a look - it’s about this aging photographer who loses his memory and sets out to reclaim it, unknowing opening a can of worms that gets him into some serious problems with his wife.
One small step for Vasant. A (potential) giant leap towards reaching into deep, dark drawers, better parenting decisions, and altering my world (and potentially yours).
Down with complex sentences.
Up with Yet Untitled and all Yet Untitlers!
See you all next week!