The first draft of this piece is the outflow of the emotion of memory. Next I want to write it more in a way that shows not tells. In this draft I like the way the porridge motif works and will think about metaphors and myths around magic porridge pots perhaps.
Remember the days when we survived on porridge and rice
My quest for stillness continues and part of the journey is to find a ritual that will help my daily creativity.
I am at a workshop in Sydney with an Indigenous Canadian, and she is talking to me about ritual and centering when one engages in any creative act, be it dancing, writing, poetry. She asks us to do physical things as part of this ritual. I need to take more deep breaths before and during my writing. I woke in the night last night, took deep breaths as if I was just about to run a long race.
I am centering myself before I write like a martial artist doing exercises to keep fit. To do this I am having a break from social media, which is becoming far too distracting. I need to be in that space less, but when there be ever caring and gracious and find the pools of light that settle and sing to me that they will be the power in my day.
It’s time to draw a line in the sand and I want my family to spend more time with each other and less on our computers and facebook. I love the sociability of the online but sometimes I don’t want to spend all day with hundreds of friends in a mind space, I want to be with my family and friends in physical space, or to surrender to the Divine and just pray. Yet what are these spaces when we look to the inner realities.
I am thinking about the book Sifting the Dust, and all the stories that Marjorie Rose shared there. I can’t even write about it just yet, as I am sifting through it like Marjorie sifted through the challenges of fear and the power of love.
Blogs help writers like me sift their – stories, identity, landscapes, memories, inner, dreams and outer realities and communities – for stories. Books like Marjorie’s encourage me to look for how each of us even though connected to a world of family and friends, and faith, must also make individual journeys to walk with the Divine.
I am recalling a lady called Agatha, with Corgi dogs, who used to drive one of my brothers and I when were children to camps and our family stayed at her beach house sometimes and had a basket full of simple old fashioned toys and the beach to walk along. When we walked along the beach we drew with sticks in the sand, and I remember drawing a large clock face.
I am opening letters that meant a lot when they arrived, including one from Agatha who wanted me to visit her and yet I was unable to go and see her and that makes me sad now to think I didn’t see her on her island home, although I heard lots of stories. They were of a kind woman who helped with baby sitting and educating children and was gracious to everyone on the island. I met her son once and wonder if he knows how kind his mother was to so many people like me. I wonder if those letters are still somewhere. I think of special letters that are like giving wings, and how sometimes I receive emails like that. Sometimes I might even print them and place them on the wall.
I am thinking of taking the I out of more of my sentences.
The other morning I told my husband about three stories and unpacked them. They had been dormant in my head waiting to have just the right amount of conflict, narrative drive and underlying mythology to make their way into being. They are ready to be written and I must answer that call. I had been thinking about them even whilst they weren’t making it onto the page,it was amazing to see when another big project was finished how my mind was freed to go on new creative journeys.
I am sorting and collating photographs for illustrations for books that are almost complete. I want a jump out at me photographs, or collages with layers to interpret like you do with short intense poems that can mean much more than could be said in volumes of words. I like textured abstracts that seem to me to speak of the things we can’t represent in images or easily in words.
Abstracts speak to me of spiritual realities. Abstracts allow me to take a deep breath and write of the power of spiritual insight.
Violinist bats (sculptures in the park), goannas and ducks attract the attention of my children. We all enjoy the reflections of the late afternoon.
The ducks pose. Birds feed on the flowers. Sound of Music classics from the band’s free concert fill the park. ‘Climb Every Mountain’and ‘My favorite things.’We all like different songs from that one.
The garden is so full of green, colour and people. A mother walks past and says, ‘if you just stay calm I’ll give you chocolate when we arrive at the car.’ Friends meet and the Dads tell each other’s children to be excellent to their mother, not just today but everyday. I store the day in photographs, poetry and this blog.
I like days like these as stores for future short stories. Perhaps I will have a mother with curious children trying to make her away around the garden. She learns to be patient and see the world through their eyes again.
Perhaps however the children are impatient, and it’s the mother who wants to stop and look at everything with her brand new digital camera. Perhaps I could write a story about a bat who wanted to join the orchestra and went in search of a violin maker. They are sick and tired of being in photographs, but are happier if they can take photographs just like Mum.
Now, I am seven again, watching the ducks – writing a poem. I am a child with my mother walking under a bridge as she tells me tales of ancestors and bridge spirits who will look out for me.
As I continue my poetry quest I know it’s not just about form, but substance. It’s about trying to explain the essence of things, using metaphors and similes. It’s about searching for word images that capture the difficult to explain.
Here is another work from Ripple Poetry which is about that quest for deeper meanings.
Next to work on extending the metaphors?
Art is like memories lost, then found
Memories can be a Pandora’s box.
Camera is like a dear friend sharing special moments.
A dear friend is the antidote to a depressing day.
Fake flower is like a make-up face.
Make-up face is a shield to protect.
Curtains are like eye lids that open and shut.
Eye lids are bridges between night and day.
Guitar is like a bird that wants to be heard.
Bird is a dreamer’s avenue to wings.
Poem is like a letter to a detective called reader.
Once I wrote mainly poems, but since that time I have learnt that some pieces work so much better as stories. True there are poetic forms that work brilliantly to tell narratives – think Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. Ballads are superb for narrative.
Yet I am not a big rhymer – I freely admit it; is it something I will fix? I’m not sure, perhaps with a large and interesting online rhyming dictionary to consult I might have more of a go.
I don’t choose to write ballads, yet my dear hubby can write them endlessly; he is a rhyming machine. He creates beautiful pieces for family and to make us laugh – so effortlessly. This leads me to ask do writers have a form they meld with easily – a form that is their gift? Should they stick with this form? Should they challenge, recreate and test themselves? What do you think?
All I can say is thank goodness not all poetry has to rhyme or I would firmly have my feet in the camp of story.
Poetic prose, verse novels work on the borders of poetry and prose – do you ever wonder why people use these forms? Is it because they can’t make up their mind? Is it because when anyone uses metaphor they realise there is a super fine line between poetry and prose?
I find myself experimenting with boundaries. I tease their limits. I look for the innovators and see just what they are up to. I go on writing field trips in different genre landscapes.
I feel I need to explore the full writing rainbow. I am a child with multi-coloured crayons, lost in my love of the written word, or is it found in my love of the written word?
Writing short meditations on themes that could be prose or poetry can sometimes let me off the hook of a firm decision. I find myself in a liminal space.
Yet if a poem is just become a bit too prosey I switch to writing it as a story. If a story is a touch poetical I see if I need to tip it into that realm. And then of course there are blogs.
Blogs are an art form in themselves.
They rely on how we scroll the screen, do away with paragraphing rules, might be photo essay, filled with hyperlink explorations, part memoir, part passion – and more.
They can be professional, full of dot points, informative, educative, specialist – and yet which blogs do you or I remember? Perhaps another topic for another writing/reading Saturday saga.
Today I’ll write a poem as a story and a story as a poem, just to see what happens.