In my occasional series of ‘word pilgrim’ explorations, a small group gathers to ponder their lives through the power of words. The truthfulness and imaginative simplicity of what emerges in these classes is always a pleasure and touches on the sacred. Continue reading “serendipity”
Hope wanted to be born. She wasn’t sure yet if she was a thing or a being, and in the state she was in—not yet manifest as she was—well it didn’t really matter. All she knew was that she was needed urgently on earth. Very urgently. Strange things had been happening. Peculiar people had been chosen to be leaders. Fear was stalking the land, sending out messages in 140 characters until its mistruths took root in people’s hearts. Continue reading “the birth of hope”
The wolf nibbled at the bone—there was nothing nourishing on it, nothing at all, yet she was desperate. All around her, the ice had not yet thawed and the wind blew chill. This cold—surely it must come to an end and warmth arrive? Warmth that would make life easier again. Life and food, healing, recovery—she longed for it. Continue reading “the wolf”
‘There’s a war on.’
‘No, there’s not.’ The boy shook his head at his grandmother.
‘Yes, there’s really a war.’
‘In the darkness, far away.’
‘But I can’t see it there.’
‘No, it’s on the other side of the world, and it’s very messy.’
The old woman reached for a mass of wool in her basket.
‘It’s like this,’ she said. ‘See if you can untangle it.’ She tossed the ball to the young boy. ‘Go on.’
The boy looked at it and then he looked up at her. ‘What? This is out of control!’
‘Go on, have a try.’ She took up her knitting and began to knit from a ball of wool that was neatly rounded.
Not like the ball that she had tossed him. There seemed to be a dozen different threads and they were tangled and twisted all around each other. He looked for the ends but couldn’t see any. ‘Can’t I just cut it up?’
‘Yes, that’s what we often want to do with a difficulty, destroy it, drop a bomb on it, tear it apart…’ The old woman shook her head slowly. ‘Take your time, you’ll find the end if you take your time.’
Why do I use pen and paper to take down my first draft? The reason could be ideological—a preference for analogue over digital, a desire to maximise physical engagement before editing and analysing. Yet for me, there is also something deeply pleasurable and vaguely thrilling about the process of handwriting. Continue reading “pen in hand”