Home Is Where the Art Is

It’s been thirteen days since my last post. Which has some odd poetry to it, because on that exact date in June, I turned my tassel from the right of my cap to the left, and finally put on my big-kid pants.

That’s right, I graduated.

Five days ago, Pauley Pavilion herded me out the door and put up a DO NOT ENTER sign, shutting me out as effectively as the clanging, tall metal doors of a fortress would. But, in all honesty, I barely felt its finality. Graduation shot over my head like that bouquet I’m sure to miss catching at your wedding, the significance and importance escaping me, to the point that my ‘special day’ felt more like a group decision to dress up in unattractive, faux-trash bags – just so we could say we did. The kick in the gut came two days later, when I moved out and the definition of ‘home’ officially changed.

If home is where the heart is, UCLA stole the show. That view from the rooftop of MS, the deliciousness of sticking my toes in the fountain at Jans Steps, the sorely-sought practice rooms in Shobo, the luxurious naps in Powell, Jans, Young, the Sunken gardens (you name it, I’ve slept there)…everything from the Beauty & the Beast mosaiced halls of Kerkhoff, to the ‘MAY LA FORCE BE WITH YOU’ pillar in Anderson, seeped into every crevice of my beating heart. That campus and the people I met there gave me one exhilarating, inspirational ride – pushing me to the very precipice of pursuing my dream. So many heartstrings of mine were unknowingly tied to those places that when I picked up my bags and pushed through the door, I didn’t expect the strain. I didn’t prepare for the tearing. I didn’t know how much hope and motivation I was leaving behind.

So, it’s been thirteen days since my last post. I’ve been a little too lost to write, a little too scared to write, a little nervous that this new, shelled creature I am no longer had the words to piece together. I had to build a new home for my heart, let its tendrils stretch out and grab something new. What I didn’t know, what I couldn’t have known till I’d dragged my fingers back to this keyboard, is that I didn’t have to look very far; in the middle of that whirl of pondering the Great Perhaps, I had forgotten the simple, powerful phrase that I based this blog on: MAKE GOOD ART. When you’re tired, when you’re sad, when you’re nervous, when you’re happy, when life is threatening to eat your insides out and tell you what you’re made of – MAKE GOOD ART. Lo and behold, all I had to do to sweep up that fear, send it on its way, push my fingers onto these keys and start.

So, I’d like to make an addendum to the old adage: Home is where the art is. I’m keeping this new heart in words.

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2 thoughts on “Home Is Where the Art Is

  1. Dear Nidhi,

    I happened to come across this little work of yours over the course of my daily monitoring of, mostly useless, Facebook articulations. And I read it. I asked you once to share some of your writing with me and you declined, self-conscious and modest about your abilities. I am glad to see you have moved past that to create a forum for the whole world (someday it will happen) to read. So I read it. You have graduated and we have certainly gone our separate ways. Considering that, I thought it right for me to leave you a parting gift. As a fellow lover of writing and reading, the most appropriate gift I could think to leave to a fellow lover of writing and reading is something for me to write and for you to read.

    You have something here, Nidhi, You’re no Hemingway, Tolstoy, Hathorne, or Shakespeare. And you shouldn’t ever, ever want to be. Your writing tells me that you are Nidhi, bona-fide writer. Too many failed writers begin with a model and without a voice. You lack the model, as far as I can tell, and have the voice and it is a beautiful one. The most profound writer imaginable could easily begin as a complete illiterate. He/she need only have one principal quality to breed his/her success: passion. At the heart of making good art is passion and fire. Raw talent is no starting point. It dies when it realizes there is no passion beside it to hold it steady as it walks.

    Passion bleeds from every sentence that you have written here. I can smell it and taste it in every word you write. You have a lovely voice Nidhi and the valuable drive to go with it and I could pick that up from the words you put down without ever having met you. You don’t pepper your work with “original, refined metaphors and calculated irony. You write for its own sake and I rarely see a better exemplification of that maxim than what you have posted here. You’re scared where this mysterious road of words might, and more importantly, might not, take you. You think the road is riddled with failure and talented competitors. I have a secret for you: most of those competitors write because they need to be read. You write simply because you must, and that is what people read. I have one critique for you: one blog post a week is not going to cut it. Write some more and then write again after that. The world needs more of what you have to say. Step up to the plate.

    Michael

    • Dear Michael,

      Thank you. Thank you for your support, for your words, and last but not least, for your critique. As a writer yourself, you know the constancy of the worry that your words are reaching no one; especially because you aren’t obligated to support me, the fact that you are not only makes me proud of what I’ve written, but makes me want to write more.

      Thank you. And don’t you dare stop writing, either :).

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