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.

studio wall

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.


little red hen said...

It's nice to feel conected to oters around the world. But it certainly can be a bit of a distraction can't it. I find I'm more easily distracted at the very times I shouldn't allow myself to be! Hope you get your serious writing done soon so you can distract us with your lovely words and photos!

Anonymous said...

Your paintings and photos are so lovely. I find myself catching my breath...: oh, there's a new post! and look, it's so beautiful... again!

When you have time, I'd love to know how you take your underwater photos. They're more than phenomenal.

ganching said...

Are you going to publish your stories here? I hope so.

Suse said...

What a lovely post.

And I laughed out loud at the signoff being in lolcat.

Pod said...

that's such a lovely way to see it. the flock of birds i mean. i too am feeling abit overwhelmed with responsibility and consequently and starting lots of little things that should be things and not really following any of them through properly.
i haven't had a seizure yet though thankfully....
good luck!

alice c said...

Dear Fifi,
I am so sorry that I am late acknowledging this lovely post. I too have been trying to run faster than the hands on the clock.

I am so glad that so many of my friends stopped by to see your blog - they will all have been enriched. I am completely overwhelmed by your beautiful imagery and I will think of those birds now whenever I check my site stats.

meggie said...

A lovely way to think of the mysterious visitors, who stop by, & often don't have the courage to comment.

Bryan said...

Lovely post. But you always do that.

I think you should peek over here!


Bryan said...

I can take it down if you'd like.

I really did get a positve reaction.

I need a haircut, and what the heck is up with that hair color? Oh well, I'm stuck with it for a while.... I have 5 boxes of it and no recipt so I can't return them.

travistee said...

What a lovely description of your visitors, Fifi.
They're lucky to have found you, as we did!

Anonymous said...

Hi Fifi, I've only just discovered your lovely little corner of the blogosphere (via Travistee).

This was such a beautiful story.

I'll be back and if it's okay with you I'd like to link you.

Isabelle said...

Oh, don't have a seizure. I've been having one too - what a daft world, when we're all so busy.

I loved the song and the little film.

We were visited (in our house, I mean) by another blog friend from far away recently. You were the first and indeed only other. Will post about it when she's home again. Isn't the blog world wonderful?

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying your song / film over and over again. How lovley, soothing and a slice of smoothness.