Writing

After a truly lovely morning spent with Alex and Sarah at Northern Beaches Coffee Morning, I decided I would sit down and just edit my damn NaNoWrimo story. I have got nothing else to do and it is raining. Fifty thousands words, actually fifty thousand, three hundred and thirty five words to edit. Sigh. Do I really want to peel back the virtual cover and reveal that many words of utter nonsense? Do I really want to see what I need to undo and redo? Look, I am all for self-awareness and the insights you can gain into yourself and how you can improve, but but but…

Distraction. Must buy chickens. Live, clucky, egg-laying hopefully not-too-smelly, chickens. Be ecofriendly, increase protein intake, teach kids how mum will do their chores if chicken-smell gets too much for her. Thinking I might rent me some chickens.

Focus. Writing, must edit writing. Print it, give it as a gift to someone who will smile kindly and thank me like I thank my kids for the hard work they’ve put into macaroni art. That is what my NaNoWrimo was like: wilfull crazy abandon with pva glue, dried spaghetti and glitter. It is loved during creation, it is loved stuck on the fridge forĀ  a week but it would never be framed.. so why am I bothering with the editing at all?

How quickly I can talk myself out of editing what I write! That in itself has got to be a gift.

Distraction. Thinking I should take up sales as my next career, clearly if I can convince myself out of a particular course of action, I could convince someone into a particular course of action. Sales people do talk a lot. This isn’t a bad thing, it is their thing. It isn’t my thing. I tend to write a lot more than I talk.

Focus. Writing. Does blogging count?

Adjustments

When I think of adjustments, I think about spinal realignments and tax records. I think about a tilted picture frame and possibly the length of all of my pants. Particular moments in time, controlled by rules and measurements.
I do not think in terms of an entire life.

Tonight my thoughts are with the woman, who at just my age, has lost her husband. They’ve said she will have to make some adjustments.

A Note of Gratitude / A Mexican Blanket

When I was about 5, my parents packed myself, my two older brothers and 3 havasacks into a plane and took us to America. What an adventure for such a little girl – we were, amongst other things, going to Disneyland!
But of course it was those other things that ended up making the biggest impression on me. I saw a buffalo with a huge bearish head, the biggest creature I’d seen in my small life. I saw prairie dogs, popping their fuzzy heads out of holes like nature’s jack in the boxes. I saw tiny chipmunks racing up and down trees with the energy of a serious red jelly high.
I saw a canyon so big they called it Grand and I saw donkeys and I collected rabbit statues and I met people with smiles so wide they looked like sunrises and I was given money to buy crepe paper flowers on wire stems. I also crossed something called a border and found a dirty scary colourful place called Mexico.

On the way back from this place that turned my small eyes big, my parents purchased three blankets from the dark salesmen that crowded at the border. Two of these were brown black white and hand weaved, bearing traditional patterns and symbols. One was dyed in blues, reds, whites, yellows, weaved together with brightness and the promise of noise. Together they represented what I saw in Mexico and probably for my parents just represented good value.

The coloured one, somehow ended up in the hands of my eldest brother when he left home and the one with mexico written on it ended up hanging on a wall in my parents house. The third one which was the plainest, lived on an old sofabed for many years before I stuffed it into the suitcase I packed when I moved to Sydney. It had been part of my parents home for 13 years before it became a fixture in mine. It wrapped me up in winter, it wrapped up drunk friends in university. It was a picnic rug, a bedspread, a pillow and a blanket for nights spent in my car. Washed, rewashed, left in the sun, left in the rain and suprisingly not burnt once by the many candles I played with late at night. It hid my boyfriend and I, as we giggled at each other. It hid my tears when my heart was breaking.

Recently it wrapped my children up as they watched Shakespeare by the Sea at Balmoral. Karla was there and maybe she smiled when she saw the mexican blanket. Maybe not. But if this blanket could smile, it would. It has not faded, it has not broken or grown holes. Washed and dried and made “all cuggerly” it has become so much more than my parents probably ever imagined, when wearily – with 3 kids in tow – haggled with mexican merchantsĀ  at the border for handicrafts.

I have heard them comment since what
amazing value those $10 blankets turned out to be.

Or perhaps just amazingly valuable to me.