Wednesday, 13 August 2008

12 red notebooks

Remembering another flood of words - a few years ago in August, while I was staying in the Languedoc. The little cottage had a marble floor that welcomed my feet as I wrote every afternoon, always a precious time in heightening cricket song shimmering under the full tilt of the sun.

Just like the locals, I had learnt to keep the shutters closed from late mornings onwards. I had altered my days to be more like theirs - walk at dawn or sunset, sit by the fountain to chat, splash water on your feet in the stream, follow slow cats across the cobblestones as the shadows start to disappear from the square, go indoors and stay there a while.

So after lunch each day, I wrote. Filled pages and pages of large red floppy exercise books. I had brought a dozen of them with me. I wanted to be free to write what I pleased and felt intimidated by serious hard covers and stitched seams. I wrote until the delirium of the afternoon stilled into a black unbearable throb, until the book slid from my lap, until my head gave up and fell forward into sleep. 

I'm sure my pen must have carried on writing once I had hit the darkness of my siesta. Strange worlds were evident on those pages - like it wasn't written by me. But I had made a space to pick up a pen again and now it seemed like I would never stop.