About the Book: The inception of Ikigai, the anthology, happened when two friends - Janani and Anu, decided to combine their love for poetry with their zest for life. Each day is blessing and this book is filled with gratitude to such countless blessings by coming together of more than fifty talented co-authors. This dream was given wings by Japneet from Reasons and Laughter."
About the Piece: A Writer Of The Heart published in Ikigai: the reason for being, Edited and Compiled by Janani and Anupama by Paper Paints and Poetry, published by FanatiXx (September 20, 2019). I will be posting the full published piece directly on my website.
A Writer Of The Heart
I floundered a bit walking on paths I feared to tread,
uncomfortable leaving my comfort zone,
not certain of how my story would end.
Questions asked all the time, giving rise to self-doubt,
second guessing myself, breaking apart in the middle.
Trudging along like a dusty wagon,
carrying burdens on wheels not my own,
answers requested about things I don’t yet know
and people judging my crazy soul.
How to explain all that’s not in your control
when its grains and curves
keep slipping and reshaping its slopes
like the barren desert sands.
Casting a fog in my head like a cloudy sky,
polluting the air, making my breathing toxin,
my stress built up in tidal waves from trying
to make a living through the night and the day.
Then all of a sudden, I came to a crashing halt…
I was done sleeping through fights and not having a say.
I grabbed a piece of paper, ink and a pen
sat down determined and started to write.
Everything slowed down and got very quiet
as if my surroundings were acknowledging my right.
The winds of change blew hard and strong,
compelling my fingers to continue its flow.
And when my ink ran out, my heart filled it in
by drawing out my lifeblood’s pain
and tenderly calling my name.
My reason for being began anew
A writer of the heart, I was I knew.
Anthology Scribbles: I think every writer, artist or creative can remember their first publication. For me, it is Ikigai: the reason for being. This Japanese word is so complex but really embodies everything that God has gifted us with to live in this world. It is the thing that comes so naturally to us, it can feel selfish for wanting to give it a 110 percent. I have struggled with this decision over the last three years and I fluctuated between pushing forward and giving in to my fears of not succeeding. I was also going through so much that I couldn’t even speak about and that was when I understood that that was the reason God had given me my gifts to breathe in his grace. As I started to use them more frequently, I began to heal. As I saw it taking flight, I went through several stages of self-sabotage. As I stand here looking back at the broken roads, I see myself for the first time. The journey it has taken to know who I am, to embrace my God given gifts and to finally take myself seriously are the reasons I will not give up this path I’m on.
Note of Appreciation: A Writer of The Heart was written during a rather difficult period and I had kept it safe with my other writings, never truly acknowledging its depth. When I was invited to submit to Ikigai: the reason for being by Janani @pennyformythoughts__ and Anupama @allyouneedisalilbitofsugar, I was excited and as I looked through my collection, this piece practically jumped at me. I knew it was ready to finally let it find its home in this book. I chose Paper Paints and Poetry @paperpensandpoetry because I wanted my first publication to be from India as this is where I was born, raised and learned so many things about life.