Thursday, 21 April 2011
Standing in a light that won't fade
Since I usually keep obsessive track of everything, and because I've lost track of what week of the Indie Ink Writing Challenge I'm in now, I shall not try to figure it out and will just write!
This week's prompt comes to me from Sir and goes as follows--
Slowly rocking in the porch swing, you gaze skyward and whisper to the heavens, "I'm waiting...". What is it you're waiting for?
I'm lucky enough to have two weeks off of teaching over the Easter hols, and not once, but twice in this time period I got to see my favourite poet read. The first reading is in London and it's all a bit of pomp: book launch, big name poets swarming round each other, dressed in black A-line skirts or suits, heels and bright tops, hair neatly combed. Oh yes, these are the rock stars in my world, the sortof-but-not-quite librarian looking masters and mistresses of language. Mystery and booze abounds. And I sat in row 2, right near the centre, drinking my fizzy elderflower cordial, in jeans and old clogs, unfazed but observing...taking notes on the social buzzing. All in all it was a good evening, but left me feeling exhausted for the journey home and a bit hung-over the next day from all the schmooze-making.
The second reading was this past Tuesday. A local community centre, easy drive from my house. Mr. T and I go together, and we're all full from yummy food, got a roll of choc chip cookies on my lap for the drive. Chilled music, sunset over the hills and I'm looking forward to an evening out. No expectations. When we arrive the room's alive with energy. I see tattoos and sandals, pink hair on one woman, men in open collars. And the poet arrives with her rolly case full of books. We settle and she reads and reads. Sounds and silence pour out of her. She laughs and rocks and motions with her hands, looks at us over her glasses, asks the audience questions. As the reading goes on, we cross legs, tilt heads, sigh. And when the poet finishes (to a roar of applause) I feel happier than I have in days. Like someone has just covered me in warm honey or sunshine or I'm wrapped in liquid gold.
The night after the reading I dream big. The poet and I stand face to face and we speak rapidly, quick tongues of words back and forth, back and forth, ideas flying, like we're downloading to each other, faster than either of us can talk, faster than I can think.
I woke yesterday morning from this dream. Felt honey-filled still and inspired. But then after a full day of marking papers for my job, I found myself tearful and frustrated. Like the outside me wasn't matching up to the inside golden-dreamer. So I went out into sunshine, Mr. T and I having our afternoon walk, and we reminisced together about the Tuesday night reading, the words, the energy, and I told him that I feel like I'm waiting, waiting...but for something I thought I was already on the verge of taking hold of a year ago...my PhD, my own writing career.
Today I am left with a few thoughts and images from the reading and from the dream. Honey-bright words filling me up. A pen like fire to write with. And a jumble of minutes, hours, days that I need to clear out, like a spring clean, to make room for the writing to take hold, to grow.