Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Passion to Write

By Belinda

I had watched the evening fading fast from my kitchen window, while making a macaroni and cheese casserole for Friday's supper. It was almost dark when Molson and I left the house, me for a walk and he for a sniff. If our walk was interval training, it would be intervals of walking punctuated by standing still. But he gives me the impression that he reads the village by nose like I read a great book with my eyes. Dragging him away from an intense sniff would be like turning a page at a critical point in a story. Can't do it.

While we walked beneath a canopy of stars and I craned my neck, trying not to topple over backwards looking at them, I thought about the writers group meeting last night.

From all directions we converged on Bonnie's house: Claire, fresh in from Montreal where she has been for 11 weeks, caring for a sick daughter; Bonnie just back from Cuba; Melody and Marilyn from Alliston; Brenda, Veena and Julie from Innisfil; Sue and Vi from Schomberg; Magda and Michele from Newmarket; Karen from--I'm not sure--and me from the centre of the universe: Bond Head. We were thirteen women with a wealth of life experience, wisdom and diversity and we came to our September meeting bearing the gift of writing about Christmas.

The writing was as rich and varied as the writers it sprang from. We are creating an anthology for Christmas; something we've done in the past just for fun. As I listened to story after story, all so different, it felt as though we were stitching together a beautiful Christmas quilt made of pieces of brocade; velvet; gingham and satin. Each piece had a personality and history of its own. There was wistfulness; wisdom; humour; skillful story writing; a cultural tale or two and even a recipe for a mouthwatering cheese and onion pie! As each was read, laughter, gasps of appreciation and words of affirmation were satisfying responses. None fell to the ground as a flop, even though some were read nervously.We should have sold tickets to our meeting it was so much fun.

I've been reading a book entitled, The small details of life: twenty diaries by women in Canada, 1830-1996.I've so enjoyed reading the diaries of these women but it makes you face your own mortality to read the "small details" of lives; some so long ago. As I walked the dark and quiet streets of the village of Bond Head, I noted the houses that have stood here for over one hundred years, with successive generations of families filling their rooms. And me, a tiny speck in the universe, beneath the stars; one day I won't be here anymore either. I'm okay with that, only I wonder, with a catch in my breath...will there be writing in heaven?

5 comments:

Dave Hingsburger said...

Belinda, when we went to the BBC Night at The Prom, I had a similar odd feeling. When one of the pieces of music started, I got the feeling that we'd stepped out of real time and into eternal time. The music washed over us like it has millions and millions for generations. We felt the stream of time and knew that once the notes had passed through we were back, standing dry, in our moment, in our time. but that the music would play again for others in a time yet to come. We didn't feel feel our mortality as much as we felt very strongly our place in time, now.

Marilyn Yocum said...

Oh, I love this - the gathering, its purpose, the plan for the anthology, the diaries you are reading and the thoughts you've been led to.

From time to time I read an obituary that could easily sum up my life, the details of which seem so big and important now, but reading them I see they are quite common and unmemorable. It is not depressing; rather, a good reminder. May we, like David serve the purposes of God in our own generation, trusting God for the ripple effects.

A wonderful post that I found very moving, Belinda!

Marilyn Yocum said...

p.s. I know I would love that book and will be pursuing that. Thanks for mentioning it! Maybe this will be a diary-reading winter.

Belinda said...

Oh, dear friends, Dave and Marilyn, Thanks for sharing your own thoughts. Isn't it good to know that one day when our time here is over, we will still have one another, "up there," carrying on our fellowship and friendship and our kindred spiritness?

Karebear said...

I'm from Bradford!! And I too loved the diversity of the evening.