Tag Archives: writing

Handwritten Pages #30 Carapace

“Every time you slam the door a fairy loses its wings,” her mother yelled down the hallway.
She leant against the door, watching and waiting for the wings to float down; one onto her pillow and the other beside the laptop on her desk. Their thin, steel-like frames and metallic membranes were added like plates to the almost-finished coat on the dressmaker’s mannequin.
Slipping it off the mannequin and dressing herself in it, she confronted her image in the mirror, the light reflecting a kaleidoscope of colours on the carapace she wore.
I will not need to fly, she whispered, when I can wear armour.

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Handwritten Pages #29 Conflagration

To scorch the earth
requires, firstly, a match
to spark the conflagration.
In it’s wake a monochrome
palette of ashes; the static
of a black and white television.
The white noise of silence
mistaken for a perpetual
round of applause.
Except you burned the memory
of why you did it in the first place.

Handwritten Pages #28 Mix Tape

We were two halves, each a side of a mix tape. Made up of songs that created us in our understanding of the other.
Yet your memory of me is a bootleg, a copy passed around by word of mouth. Continually copied until the reproduction was a new original you made of me in an act of collective forgetting; when the memory of the song was more powerful than the original.
How often did we have to respool the cassette when it caught in the tape deck; wind it back on with a pen jammed in the cogs? I doubt you’d recognise the original tune now that it’s stretched and warped.

I want you to press “Play” for old time’s sake. Would you?

Three Words for the New Year

In the light of celebrating the changing of the Gregorian calendar into 2018, let’s acknowledge Greg’s dating nomenclature: Happy Greg’s Day!

But, another three words to define this changing of the calendar on the wall, the diary on the desk, the scraps of paper used as notes and the back of my hand useful for the writing of lists, is to refocus the directions, habits and purposes of what you wish to achieve.

These are my three words for 2018: Patience, Fortitude, Tenacity

They are defined by my theological outlook and perspective, and have connections to events and situations that have impacted, are impacting, and will impact me. The changing of a calendar date doesn’t mean that all the craptacular events that happened last year haven’t continued on this year; I still have to deal with them. They impact myself, my family, my creativity. 

To be honest, 2017 was a year of continuation of years of crapness that feels like someone having handed me a never-ending roll of toilet paper. It helps clean up the mess but the mess keeps on coming. I didn’t, and haven’t, dealt with some of it well and the effect compounds into multiple areas but especially my creativity. 

No new stories written. Nothing published. Ideas planted, germinated, rising about the soil and scorched by the sun. It’s been a barren few years in terms of creative output. 

So how do these words help me refocus for the coming year? It’s about forming positive habits and achievable steps, looking at the long term destination rather than short term gains or (potential) rewards. 

Patience – like that of a saint. The ability to weather the storms and circumstances, and to travel when the conditions are good. To me, it’s having a longer perspective, a focus on the horizon and not simply the step immediately in front of me.
It’s a cultivated habit, a fruit of character and personality. To keep doing the work, not seeing the reward, while others around you are blessed and keep on going with nary a care in the world. I will have my reward in this life, or the next. Not to be distracted by the success of others (applaud them, support them, champion them) because they have done the work that is required. 

Fortitude – defined as courage in pain or adversity. Basically, above all, to stand.
So much has sucked away the creative impetus and momentum over the last few years and it has taken up a significant amount of emotional and mental energy. Often it’s painful and demoralising. Especially when it’s not happening to me specifically but to close family members who you take care of. It’s hard to see someone you love in pain and there is not much you can do except hold a space for them, and yourself.
Sometimes I feel like an anchor point for those around me but I’m afraid I’ll lose my grounding. But, digging in and digging deeper. 

Tenacity – keeping on when all you want to do is give up. And I’ve been feeling like giving up a lot lately. Had a rough gig on the weekend; it wasn’t a train wreck in terms of my drumming but for whatever reason it felt awkward and crap and at the end of the gig I wanted to break my drumsticks, sell my gear and quit playing drums. 
But that is one gig. I will have other bad gigs, I am sure. I’ve also had great gigs. Each day is a chance to refocus, start afresh and be thankful for mercy and grace. I’ll be looking at the next gig this weekend not through the lens of the past gig but at the possibility of what awesomeness it could be. Back to the practice pad.

Im summary, three words are meaningless without a plan to make them a habit so I’ll keep making notes, keep reading, keep writing. 

What would your three words for the year be?

Handwritten Pages #27 Origami Heart

We knew him as the boy who flew a kite from the classroom window on a very windy day. He said it was made from pages of the local newspaper pilfered off a random driveway on the way to school, straws from the canteen, and half-dried scraps of sticky tape. A loose thread pulled from the strap of his backpack anchored his flight of fancy. It gained altitude and we added our own strings to let it fly higher.
We asked him why he did it.
He said he had an origami heart.
The next day the wind was still and he did not return. At an assembly we found out he took his life.
The day after, we made kites. Some flew, however briefly; others smashed into the ground. I don’t think we truly understood why there’s no art to find the mind’s construction in an object.

Handwritten Pages #26 Knitting Fragments

After watching Disney on DVD as foreplay, they fall to playing at prince and princess. He murmurs refrains of lullabies as he pulses within her. She hums them back as incantations, weaving the fragments into a sonic mosaic as the template for the hagiography of the life they are trying to create.
They ponder what will knit in the darkened void of conception; if naïve belief in hopeful songs will tread lightly over the darker presence of evil in the harshness of the life to come. Concerned how to balance the dark and light.
The little death makes her shudder in fearful bliss.

Handwritten Pages #25 Grace

I hid half of you inside my womb; a secret you knowingly planted but wanted to forget.
Two halves made whole then multiplied by division along lines we drew down each other’s bodies.
Until the time I presented her to you and showed you who you were, who you are and who you could be.
And you had the audacity to ask for her to be called Grace.