Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Starting Point

My first time, that I remember, came about while I was playing with imaginary friends. I was upstairs and “we” were on a mystery hunt and somehow from there came this:

Thy Power is in thy
Master's hand
He does with it
As he pleases
He may destroy
He may help
Or he may just see
Another way

Now I know some may view this as more divine than what I was writing and thinking. Trust me, there’s no divinity here at all…in meaning, anything else is up for another day’s discussion. BUT, shouldn’t the words bring forth the reader’s heart more than the writer’s?

I mean, how many times at school were you asked “what is the author/poet saying?” “what is the focal point of this artist’s work?” My answers were always way left of center.

I have no idea what the author/poet/artist was thinking…most were/are long dead and gone. I can tell you what I feel. What I think. Where my eye goes.

Is it any wonder my favourite subjects were always my hardest.

Is there really a right or wrong way?

The great picture…now to go find the blasted name and artist… A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte – 1884 by George Seurat…

Know where my eye first went…top right corner, the woods. Then behind that lady in the shade with the umbrella. I didn’t give a hoot about where they were all facing, where the lighting was supposedly drawing your eye. Nope, I sat on the art gallery floor watching the woods. A friend of mine, one of the supposedly tough guys, was working as security, although I didn’t know it. He called down from the balcony about “that you, Chris?” When he reached me he answered “you’re the only girl I know who would sit on the floor in the middle of here.” Yup, that was…is…me. Thankfully, I know a few others.

I explained my point of view and squeaked by with a passing mark. Hey, good teachers won’t fail you if you can back up your thoughts.

Which brings me to say Thank You Mr. Thwaites and Mr. Mills. Mr. T was my high school English teacher for two years. Mr. Mills I believe I also had for two years, art class.

Mr. Mills never failed me. I mean that more than in grades. He allowed that which was (and still is) within me to find its way out into any medium. He gave advice. He critiqued. He was right, sometimes. He never stood in front of me to stop me.

Mr. Thwaites, he was an interesting teacher. Had one rowdy class and this man would go sit at the front, open “The Chrysalids” by John Wyndham and start whispering the story. Never saw a class quiet so fast. He was a fantastic story reader. He also told me to take my pen and paper, shut my door and turn off the light. “Now just sit there and let the words flow, don’t stop them or contain them, just write everything that comes through.” Here’s what came through, haven’t read it in years:

The microscopic dust floats ever so slowly down to the waiting rug.  The ridges in the rug seem to lie ever so peaceful as though they had never been trodden on.  The only loud crashing that can be heard is that of the small helpless but loyal dog biting into the hard biscuit.  My own breathing sounds like the ocean side you hear in a shell.  The silence above all the passing sounds seems to pierce through my eardrums.  The small light that shines from the black penlight cast weird shadows on the dog's body causing his eyes to glow with some of the mysteries of the unknown animal world.  Those eyes ever so gentle but always ready to defend me from anything even if it's just a fly.  Oh how many of my secrets those eyes hold.  No one will ever know but me and him.  The dreams and childish memories lay hidden among the toy animals as they sit on the shelves not caring about a thing.  Oh if only mankind could do the same but no outside the cars rush through nature's tears not stopping or realizing the trouble it takes in making that one drop of peace.  The barking of the edge in the near but far distance knows too.  The trees that glisten with rain know too.  Every drop of rain knows.  But do you think that man with his technology knows?  No he'll never know even though his own clock radio ticks the minutes by.

April 28. 1980

This is partially where I started from.