Thursday, March 25, 2010

101 ways to write about rain

Sometimes it seems like there’s a lot of it about. So, in the spirit of ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ I aim to get to know each and every drop.
the rain started like a rumour. a whisper at the back of the classroom. a secret passed on under the breath. a hastily scribbled note on folded scrap paper. she knew what was happening behind her back. she knew it was coming for her. yet again she’d be caught in a cloudburst.
your eyes are like rainclouds. filling. filling the sky. no wind. no movement. some light. not much. blankety and grey. comforting in their familiarity but largely unwelcome on a summer day. all day they linger. they stay. but drop not a drop. they glower but never shower. you threaten to rain. but don’t.
false alarm rain. a few spots that linger in the air but don’t drop. that hang there to create the impression of rain. like a raindrop mobile above a baby that never breathes. enough to get you up off the sofa, out of your book. to bring you to the window. out the back door to bring in the washing. while the drops hang still.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

what a difference a day makes

today is all I have to do. brown blankets to the power of two. strawberry tea brewed strong with one heaped sweet. listen to short CDs, boys with guitars and easy accents. finger nails tap in time on the rim of this mug. net curtains parted slightly, hooked by a thread on a thorn on a pot plant. the street outside, a dagger shape slicing into view. a scrappy bookmark of the place I left off, that I’m meant to pick up again. but not today.

* * * * *

the garden grew indistinct. she thought she was falling asleep with her eyes open. but it was just a sea mist creeping through. not rolling in the way they usually do, steering round corners and piping between trees. this one seemed to form in the air itself. in every place between here and the distance the air grew thicker and the view thinner. as if something was turning down the volume on this tuesday afternoon.

Monday, March 01, 2010

patchwork prose

I’ve always been drawn to mosaics, jigsaws and patchwork. Anything that aims to make a whole out of small somethings. I also regularly need to revisit the question of why I write. It feels reckless to do it without understanding my motivation. I’m not the type of person who would climb a mountain simply because it’s there. And the answer I’ve often come to is that I write to keep record. Noting the daily in an effort to distinguish the uniqueness of each. I think that’s a major reason why haiku suits me. Each is a little patch, and seen together they suggest some kind of record of experience. A patchwork of my days. Of course I like my flights of fancy too, my wild imaginings. Perhaps these are my play, where I fling the patched cape around my shoulders and pretend to be a kaleidoscopic witch for the day.

I’ve dabbled with reading diaries before, but never fully embraced them. Plath’s big green volume has been bowing my bookshelf for years. But recently I’ve dipped my toe into May Sarton’s coastal account shared in The House by the Sea. And I’m astounded at how much I’m finding there, how much relevance to my todays considering Sarton’s todays were almost forty years ago. I admire a diary keeper - their bravery as they allow me to hear their confession. The way they aren’t ashamed to be so indulgent as to write about themselves day after day. Perhaps we all hope to create something that will outlive and outlast us. Some people bear children to meet this need, while some of us prefer to make something we can burn if we change our minds.

Today I shall start to read the first entry in the fictional diary of Ruth which runs through Thaw, the third novel from Fiona Robyn. I’m interested to see how Ruth uses her diary, and if you are too you can read along for the next three months at Thaw.