Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Not at the desk

We bought you a new basket, lined it with your blanket, freshly washed. You sniffed it suspiciously, circled it eight times in both directions and slumped down with a huge sigh of satisfaction on the grassy and sandy doormat in the hallway. 

I have a new writing spot. It waits for me. I look at it a lot, walk past it and see if the urge takes me. Then I run downstairs, kick off my shoes and do my writing curled on the sofa in a heap of cushions where I feel more part of the day to day. 

I am more prolific if I lean against a wall looking out at the sea with my notebook pages flapping as I balance it on my knees and shift my sacrum away from certain stones. My writing is more imaginative if I am out under the sky, with a polished apple in my pocket and dust in my boots. 

Truth is, I am often happier writing at the kitchen table in a precious squeezed in hour of solitude before the next thing, looking at the vase of red orange and pink dahlias brought in from the ravaging wind with petals opening like hands, my open expectant diary, cast aside sea sprayed sunglasses, a half written shopping list, an abandoned handful of loose change and yesterday's creased train tickets.

My new spot is lovely. The table top is clear except for a few inspirational books, a blue glass paperweight that looks like a delicious boiled sweet, a plant that sits in solitude without me. But in it's calm silence and stillness, there is an expectation looming. I have sat there with notebooks and pens in hand unable to put pen to paper. Sadly, I am acknowledging that it is still a desk, a place more suited to me doing my accounts and work plans than to wayward flights of the imagination. And I am starting to see that the writer in me has a wilder nature than I thought.

Eventually, the cat moved into the dog basket. Not every day and certainly not if anyone was looking. If you came down for a drink of water on wet and stormy nights, he would be tucked up at one end, arms over his head, upside down in smiling ecstasy. He would chirrup in disgust and run off after being discovered there. 

The dog didn't care. She still slept in front of the draughty cat flap.

This piece is reminding me of a song from childhood. Lots of verses. 
Seems to connect with what I've just written, somehow.

I had a cat.
The cat pleased me. 
I fed my cat under yonder tree. 
The cat says fiddle i dee