I got this mail from Dr. Shotaro Iwamoto, couple of weeks back; explaining me about the Pediatrics Magazine, and asking me to write something for the foreign student’s page. I have been procrastinating, it all this time, when I got the second mail, a reminder; this time, asking me to do the same before 7th of October, aka the day after tomorrow. Now, I love writing, have written quite a number of pages and do write for fun; but, for me (I have a hunch, that I am not alone in this) writing subsumes one of my worst fears; the ‘fear of the blank page’. . . It originates from having to stare at this white screen (simulated to look like a piece of paper) and to think; ‘what to write about?’; ‘How to go about it?’; and umpteen similar expressions; which at times force me to call off the mission.
This phobia (don’t know if they have christened it with one of those crazy ‘..…phobia’ sobriquets; did come across something like ‘Vacansopapurosophobia’; but think that was someone’s crazy imagination at work, and not a ‘recognized word’ at the moment!) is working its black magic on my minds even as I write this, and believe me, am still at a loss on how all this write-up is going to turn out like. The culprit this time though, is not just the dark hands of the phobia, but is brought about by a whirlpool of ‘why and wherefores’; with, the failure of not being able to decide on the key idea; at its vortex.
‘An Idea’, that’s what triggers many things in life, it has the power to change the way you look at things, change the way you react to things, and change your life at large (and in smaller proportions, can help you overcome the phobia). Thinking of the ‘big picture’, aren’t we all spending our whole lives searching for ideas; ideas ranging from simple things as what to write about, to things of humongous proportions like ideas to tackle climate change, global warming, terrorism.. and what not!
“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria?….. A virus? An Intestinal worm?….. An Idea.. Resilient, highly contagious.. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed; fully understood; that sticks: right in there, somewhere.” That was Cobb (Inception). Now, that was all about stealing ideas, and putting ideas in someone else brain/mind (oh! Where exactly?). But what about all those poor souls, going in search of ideas; ideas for sustaining their lives, ideas for earning one full meal a day… and what about me searching for that idea to fill in the blank page!
“Any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, or activity”; a pretty good definition given by the dictionary; and it boils down to the simple fact, you don’t get ideas from thin air.. they exist in your mind, and that’s where you need to search.
Searching for ideas needs to be a journey deeper into oneself; again, Cobb has the perfect quote for the moment “downwards is the only way forwards”. But what counts more is not searching for ideas and finding them, but to act (or not to act) on those ideas, for, they are the seeds; that can grow and alter the course of both individuals and civilizations for good or bad.
And that takes me to ‘square one’… diving deep inside, looking for my idea.. to fill in the blank page.. (oh! By the way.. this page looks full now).