Saturday, October 18, 2008
in which the fish is visited by the whole world.
Even though I had much to be getting on with, I distracted myself last week with the writing of two stories. Just tidying them up a bit. Fixing their shape.
Sometimes things just form in your head and insist upon attention, until you give them some kind of form. Two stories they were, beginning wih a true event.
Each had reference to a faraway place: one was Maryland, a character had come from rural Maryland,
In the other, a large town in Lancashire was featured: Preston, its museum and railway station. Not random, but especially chosen. Everything I write about begins with a truth.
During that week, I stayed up late each night, writing my papers and marking student assessments. I am getting a little hysterical, realising that there is so much in my life to impinge upon any academic train of thought: and that I cannot preface things with excuses as to why I had so little time.
As I sat up one night, a curious thing occurred: my friend Alice spoke of me on her blog, and made reference to one of my posts. As I sat up, it was like a flock of birds flew silently overhead. Alongside my regular friends came a silent constant stream of visitors, shadowy, but certainly present. Such an interesting phenomenon, since their ghostly presence was not apparent to anyone but me.
I watched as the British Isles paid me a visit. Bedfordshire, Sussex, Kent, London, York, Leeds. I watched the list grow: feeling strangely connected with these places, places of which I dream. As England went to bed, America woke up, and from all part came visitors, from California, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York.
The rest of the world joined in this steady flow: Nova Scotia, Tipperary Ireland, France, Japan, Hungary. I stayed up late, accompanied by this enormous silent flock passing, feeling a strange and comforting presence as their wings beat past me at my work, allowing my self a peek at the stats list every half hour or so.
A couple of these lovely birds stopped in and left a message.
One was from Preston, Lancashire. The other, Maryland. These were the two folks who left me a message. I am still marvelling at this wonderful, ephemeral synchronicity.
Thank You, Alice.
Now, since I have been displacing my real responsibilities, I am having a seizure. i have run out of runway and will need to spend the next 48 hours on some serious high powered writing. and not story writing, either.