this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr

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Friday, 27 March 2009

piano lessons

I need to write at the moment. It's not crafted. It's good that I need to write. It used to be all I did and taught. Then I got back into teaching ESOL English, and it fell by the wayside. I'm not too burnt up about it. I got pretty far with my writing, including a contract with a major publisher, which they ultimately withdrew due to me mainly collapsing in on myself, I think. Now, I don't know if I have the fire that I once had to put in the hours, the sheer grit and determination it takes to write something good and long enough to make up a book that a publisher picks up. It was unsolicited, by the way. It's pretty rare that a book gets picked up that way, so yeah, I screwed up royally. But at the same time, others get back on the horse with relative ease, or never fall off, just dig their spurs in further (which makes the horse go faster, of course, or causes it to buck you off). That is the thing to do. Writing, like anything else, is practice. The yoga and meditation gurus will tell you that practice is everything. And it is. Practice and tenacity. Remember your piano teacher asking you if you had practised that week, and you always wondered how she knew that you hadn't? Well, pretty obvious, if you don't go through all the clumsy, knuckle-dragging, tedium-inducing exercises; if you don't attempt the refinement, the tinkering, you don't improve. You get rusty, clunky.

What the Net provides is instant print. Not really good. Writing becomes sloppy. Mine, anyway. I rewrite, but I publish first. So, it depends upon when you visit my blog as to whether you get the better version or not. I rewrite my non-political posts quite a lot, and the political ones too, sometimes. Even so, I know it is not the craft that it used to be. Not often. Not all the time.

This is how I wish I could draw

So, I haven't drawn any pictures for a while, either. When I stopped writing every day, I started drawing. They aren't great drawings, but they are okay. They consume my time, but I haven't really picked up my pencils for a year. I didn't have a television in Oman. I had a book of mandalas. I used to copy them into incongruent colours, and put them on the walls. And do jigsaw puzzles. Amazing German jigsaw puzzles. Laying out all the pieces on the cool floor, while goats ran up the cement stairs, and my neighbours from Kerala cooked up curries, and the Omani male students below watched loud videos, while the female students in the hostel beyond, which I could see from my roof, studied and gossiped.

How I actually draw. This mandala was done in Japan, not Oman.

Then, when I came to Japan, taking photos with the mobile was an even easier option. Drawing might be a craft. The photos involve a little bit of craft, but I am too lazy to produce something such as friends of mine, Amy and RunBabara, do, and then, I don't really have their eye. But, I can craft writing. But I don't. Yet, I am writing every day at the moment, and I have ideas. So, maybe I am practising, and maybe I will get around to sharpening that blade again. A friend of mine, who put out this book last year, said even if you are not writing, there is the act of observing. Maybe her comments give me a way to cop out, maybe there is a lot of resonance in them. Though, sitting in my apartment, often it is only my navel that comes under inspection.

The weather is not really warm enough, but today I bought about ten plants. Hot chocolate cosmos, pansies, lobelia, a pink one and another pink one. We have had a few semi-spring days, so hopefully they will survive and prosper. My mother's garden is always something to behold. She mainly plants natives and it is nearly always flowering. She never planted annuals, so they are about all I plant. I just have a small balcony, and I like to see them in bloom, and my mother lived in her house 36 years, intends to live in her new one until she no longer can, and I will shift out of this apartment in one more year. I think I have lived here 3 years, and I think that is as long as I have lived in one house since I moved out of home at age twenty. From writing to art to photography to gardens. There is craft in gardens, too, but sometimes the flowers bloom no matter how much you neglect them, and sometimes they die no matter how much attention you shower. I have shallow roots at the moment, I think, or shallow soil, stunted roots? Poetry is much more suited to living tenuously in tedium, and that, it seems, I can produce, every now and then. Maybe I will have to go home again to once more produce something of length. Sighing in the suburbs thinking of the lands, money, people and jobs well away from Perth.


Anonymous said...

Rose ♥

I love what you write, it brings me great joy. You are one of the most adventuresome people I know, so full of things to share. I always want to hear more, after a conversation or reading your blog, you always leave me wanting to get to know you better.

I still wonder, "What will I be when I grow up?" At 52 you would think I would have found my niche, other than Wife, Mother and Grandmother.

I have always wanted to try stipple art,I think I may just do that....

Jane ♥

lizardrinking said...

Thanks, Jane. Believe me, your life is a lot fuller than mine, but my life is not too bad! I go places but do nothing - not necessarily anything adventurous in that, but hey, the potential is there :)

anglophile said...

Shortly after I graduated college and was at loose ends, I entertained the fantasy that I would write a novel. I did not set the bar too high: I figured I could write a slightly better romance novel than the ones that get churned out every four months by the boilerplate authors. I devised a plot and characters and I bought a word processor to write it on. I wrote the first chapter. And then I stopped. Next, I thought I could write a fairly decent childrens book. Again, I worked out a plot and named my characters, and found out what they looked like and what they dreamed. And wrote the first chapter and stopped. I figured I'd get back to it. Tomorrow, I would write the second chapter, I said to myself. And then I read a quote: "A writer is a person who writes." I admitted defeat.

Keep writing, keep writing.

lizardrinking said...

Ah, that's not defeat, glo, they're just waiting for your return. That's where the tedium and the determination comes in, and the one tenth inspiration and nine tenths perspiration. Another format (such as a much neglected reflections on poetry blog/column) might be your format. ♥

this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr