At the deepest pits of indecisiveness and the famous writers’ block, I could not help but ask myself, why do I even bother? Why do I feel so compelled to the pen and paper that my soul feels unsettled when I avoid them. My heart feels like a vacuum, skipping beats, chanting and drumming me into submission.
So this time, I take my so stubborn soul through a journey of discovery. “Why do you write, you unworthy piece of mind?”, I ask myself.
I believe the answer lies way back from my childhood, when I asked my mother a rather unexpected question. I was only about 10 years then when I asked her, “Mom, could you tell me how dad courted you?”
I still remember her unpleased face as she raced towards me. Pointing her fingers at me in accusation. How rile? Where did you get that from? She made it clear to me that I had something so bad. I have asked a question I should never have asked.
I needed someone to explain myself to. Clearly my mom at that time was not to be considered. If only there was someone I could tell that am not a spoiled child, vulgar, as I was accused of or made look like. I needed an ear to explain myself, one that would not judge me.
In that question lay a desire for information. I needed to be guided on how to conquer the heart of my very volatile desk-mate who could not share a ruler with me. A friend had told me that I need to court her so that she gets to like me. All I needed was a peaceful neighbor, not a lover then.
That incident impacted me greatly growing up. From it, I got to appreciate solitude. No one understands you, Sharif, and no one cares to understand you. No one will help you, they will only judge you. Saying somethings is forbidden young boy.
Not until, one day, I wrote my very first piece. It was a rap song I wrote on a bored Sunday in which I expressed my weird affection to comic books. I was 10 then, so none of my friends believed it was me who wrote it.
And just like that I found my ear. When I wrote, people related to the story I have written not with much thought about the author. They discuss and debate about the content, giving me the author a position of authority. And I have just realized how author and authority rhyme.
So I write because I have questions. So many of them. In my pieces I appear to be anxious about my topics, almost as if I am restless. As I write, I feel like I am in a battle with what I know. I appear as if I hate what I already know because its limited and I am seeking a better understanding from that which I don’t know. And yes, I think I will never stop writing because I have questions that I would never dare to ask anyone, but my pen.