Weightless, Woven Words – My Journey and Inspirations

Book by Umar Siddiqui

Weightless, Woven Words, in a few words, is a work my heart and mind are both extremely fond of. Being my first published work, it gives readers a chance to peer into who I am. It is essentially a window into my artistry and personality. The journey in writing is a funny idea to consider or ponder since the book traces life’s ups and downs as a journey or adventure.  I always envisioned having a coherent collection of poems, but as such, I always also believed my poems could bridge gaps in this evidently polarized and fragmented world. The push and pull of the world thematically influenced my book; I believe conflict is a tremendous and recurring motif in this world, and it is important to create conversations with it.

                I really had two chief inspiring points for my book. I confront my schizoaffective bipolar disorder on what I would term as a profuse basis, not just a daily basis. I had to revolt against the menace that is schizoaffective bipolar disorder. I feel like if you have it or anything close to it, you can still have great and evolving mental health. You have to be habitual and tackle negative thoughts head-on. This was and continues to be a driving force in my life, and I have learned to conquer it. I genuinely want my written words and creativity to aid people in conquering their mental complications as well. Poetry and writing in general really have just been an amazingly effective and affective vehicle in giving me an upper hand over schizoaffective bipolar disorder.

                The manner in which I decided to use poetry to appeal to the masses is that I am a prolific and keen writer that finds writing thoroughly enjoyable and therapeutic. I never doubted myself in poetry and knew I can use it to compel people to engage with it. I always thought it was and is artistic and relational. My aim was to have a deep, insightful, intuitive conversation, if not more than one, with my readers. My belief in poetry is pronounced and spans my life. I know it has ultimate, undying, and unmoving potential to act as liaison, also a therapist, in a lacking world where voices are stifled and underestimated quite woefully. Poetry is not the only realm in which we can come together and enrich the world, but it is heavily a dignified way in which to start, perpetuated, and enliven discourses over culture, mental well-being, and joys we have in life.

                The main theme I looked to put forth in this book through my poetry is, as aforementioned, that life is a personal journey, irrespective of who one is. Other themes I sought to circulate are the notion and fact that we have more commonalities that we need to pay attention to than our differences. We need to be less closed-minded and a lot more open to the idea that there is so much in this world that can easily bring us together. We should ultimately keep the focus on that than on what sets us apart. The feelings I aimed to elicit and evoke with this book range from happy to sad. Let me put forth a brief disclaimer that sadly does not mean negative. All of the emotions are in a positive vein. I have a category like “desperation”, which is a more “sad” feeling. It is necessary and ever-present, which is why I included it; it is an inescapable part of life. I have the more neutral categories of “voices/ advocacy” and “perception”. These are neutral in the sense that they do not take place on the extremes of a sad to happy spectrum, but they are not meaningless and are impactful. They are the middleground and are not less important. Overarchingly, I wanted to include highs and lows due to the fact that lows occur but also accentuate our high points. The joys in life are accompanied by low points. These low points are temporary and happiness becomes concrete. They are like rebuttals or naysayers to happiness that we constantly overcome; we never make it a habit to struggle with these.

                Lastly, I want to uncover the joys of the book. Some of the joys, like the two Disney-themed poems “Good Side” and “Run for Cover”, are more vernacular. I still highly encourage my readers to revel in the unbridled joy I had in writing these poems, as well as the fashion themed poem “Silhouettes of the Social Hour.” To end this, I genuinely want readers to feel catharsis. The most undesirable reaction for me to receive would be that my poems were foreign to a certain population of readers or even unintelligible. The ambivalence that I know many feel is what inspired the book but should not be shown.

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Umar Siddiqui resides in Riverside, CA, where he was born and raised. His passions are reading, writing, reading, cooking, dabbling in working out and fitness, Disney, and fashion. He enjoys the TV show, “Friends”, and alternative music. He loves going to Disney parks, water parks, and the beach. Siddiqui graduated from University of California, Riverside with a BA degree in Media and Cultural Studies and an MA degree in 2020 from California State University, Northridge, in Mass Communication. His writing focuses on empathy and good feelings