Tuesday, October 12, 2010

365 Days, Day 127

Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many coloured lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Writing is simple. First you have to make sure you have plenty of paper... sharp pencils... typewriter ribbon. Then put your belly up to your desk... roll a sheet of paper into the typewriter... and stare at it until beads of blood appear on your forehead (Prof. Cosmo Fishhawk, in Shoe)

I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like child stringing beads in kindergarten, - happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another (Brenda Ueland -American feminist and author 1891-1985)

Sometimes when I sit down to write I have no idea what to say. I stare at the screen until drops of blood appear on my forehead! I then do like I have done in many an exam: waffle. It seemed to work alright for the exams…

Beading can be very therapeutic. And so I guess can writing. I admire and covet the life of an author. I know it is hard work. But I wish that there was a story inside me that needed to be written. That obsession that drives you day after day. It would be rewarding if it could be like stringing beads in kindergarten. Although I must say my memories of nursery school are often clouded by being fearful, and sleeping under the teacher’s table because a tall Afrikaans boy called (Fran├žois?) used to pinch me at ‘nap-time’. He’d find me and lie next to me and pinch me. I wonder why I didn’t just kick him… I was very shy back then.

The smell of a nursery school classroom or a grade 1 classroom has a particular smell… which to this day makes my stomach turn slightly. It is a mixture of sandwiches with marmite or fishpaste or cheese-spread or that vomit-looking spread (sandwich spread?) and fruit (slightly over-ripe). And paint and plasticine and shoes. How many years did I spend teaching nursery school and grade 1…?

Thinking back, I have taught thousands of children over the years… the good and the bad… and the quiet ones. But that is a story for another day.

For now I need to clean up the blood from my forehead.


  1. may just be me but i cant see the pic for today !!!

  2. can now - that was strange, i have a chrystal like yours, mine is lilac and for peace if i remember right !!