“Your work is too dense on ideas.
Or, serve them as dumplings.”
I received this comment from a Bob Dylan’s fan, a retired journalist, and a massage enthusiast on vacation at Dharamkot. And it made me realize the importance of actionable feedbacks and how subtle they can be. His response was direct and had everything a well-framed criticism must have: perceived impression with a personal reflection, served with the telegram-worthy conciseness of words.
The piece I shared with him was the one I had just finished. I was basking in the afterglow from untangling some pretentious strings of reasoning in an essay that made a conscious attempt to disorient its reader and offered a choice of tangential routes towards heterogeneous subjects.
It exhibited my intense aversion to offering a solution and instead served my obscure confusions veiled with a transparent unwillingness to commit to any perspective. Phew! It was a broadcast of my abundant sources of information to frame me as a well-read fellow but failed to supply an insight or wisdom to my readers.
Writing can be overwhelming; good ones will choke the nerves of comprehension with floods of interpretations and possibilities. But an idea when delivered with conviction and signed with determined fingers is worthy of attention over the one packaged with celebratory confusions.
Giving feedback is an art; receiving and acting on them–duly so. I am still reflecting on that advice: If your ideas are nonconsumable, then break them into snippets, or unzip them, until they flow like a story.
Divide or Extract.
I liked Dharamkot and rented a room for an indefinite period with a local family when I was on my second visit. Since I was in a residential village, I engaged a lot with settlers. I kept meeting fellow travelers at A thousand places, a cafe where I had become a regular. I met amazing people who liked different foods, grew up on different lands, carried different colored passports, and spoke different languages. I also met Namah, Oskar, and Niki there.
We started to meet daily and always had news to share, things to tell, local concerts to attend, treks to do, and games to play/invent. Did you ever have a feeling that life will be short to do the things, to share the memories, and to talk the words you had inside with someone? I think we felt that.
Fast forward six months – we lost touch. One day, two of us decided to meet again. This time in the urban setting of Delhi. The inertia we had developed earlier had passed. We had to push the conversation till we finally after a while clicked and achieved the lost sync, devoid of our conscious filters.
Was there a point to this? Yes. First, perpetual motion is still a myth. So, do not let a dear connection come to a halt. It is easier to keep an object in motion than to start it again.
Moral, you ask? First, perpetual motion is still a myth. So, do not bring any dear connection to a halt. It is easier to stay in motion than to start again. Second, It is fruitful to have relationships where you can drop the conscious filters. If you don’t have such bonds, build them. If you do, nurture them.