The rain feels straight out of a Marquez story. The low-lying clouds echo the familiar sound of long distance buses drawing up to the crossroads, their wanderlusting air-horns slicing like swords through the hiss of the incessant rain. In my mind, I can see the auto drivers, heads covered with kerchiefs and their uniforms buttoned up all the way, as they squint their deals through at the disembarking passengers in the scant light of the cold, wet dawn. I have overbrewed my tea, it is bitter, but I still drink it, grateful for the leaves that have chosen me. As the warmth of the cup seeps through my palms, through my tongue and throat, through the residues of the dreams that I have dreamt, last evening’s conversation gently comes into focus.
The romance of the dim, rainy daybreak fades like the end of an overture to be replaced by the restrained semantic flourish of the times I live in. Can writing be taken to the level of a craft, to a point where it is independent of me, of the personal, of my politics? Can great literature be received and appreciated isolated from its context, from the contexts of its creator? Does writing for the sake of beauty (or truth) alone also contain within it a personal agenda? Or is writing really nothing more than another tool, another path to the answers we most need? Is writing perhaps the medicine that keeps some of us well and others safe? What is it about this morning that makes these questions seem important?