This past week, I won the joint first prize in a Travel Through Words contest organised by Jeremy Murphy and the JM Editing & Literary Agency team. Murphy had posted a series of photographs as writing prompts. One, in particular, caught my attention. The photograph, by David Mark, was from Cuba.
The car in the photograph sent me into a labyrinth of memories. I chose to respond to it, going first to the memories of my mother – the ones I have inherited from her. And then, my own.
Winning, gave me a pick-me-up, an instant boost of sorts. Maybe it is about validation – that your words mean something to someone, that they resonate with other people.
It could also be about a piece of writing finding a home of its own. A home where it will be liked or loved by several others.
Winning, and the feelings that it induced in me made me think about Vincent Van Gogh. It is a story that is so well-known and yet there must be so many others like him. To produce works of art for a lifetime, despite all odds and to never have one instance of ‘success’ – success meaning a sale of an artwork, or winning appreciation among your peers, or to be able to modestly sustain yourself from what you produce. And yet, Van Gogh and perhaps so many others like him (others who never even got any appreciation or acknowledgement – even after their death) have carried on – through generations.
It must be such a passion, such a love. And it makes me thing – perhaps their journey must be such a lonely one.
Coming back to the win and the piece being published digitally – this has given me some food for thought. About what I want to do with my own writing, what is the relationship I want to have with it for the remainder of my life.
The piece, I have hyperlinked. Let me know what you think.
And here’s a photograph of the Mini that we once owned (actually not quite. We did not ‘own’ her, we leased her from the company’s pool of cars). This photograph is from the day the husband got her home and I was there, ready to welcome her with a pooja thali and sweets and all.