Sunday, January 30, 2011


Today was a day when none of us felt like leaving the house. That's how it started.

Instead, we lay around - in bed - and read.

I finished Emma Donoghue's Room (highly recommended, by the way) and my daughter read some more of The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton whose books I used to read as a child. A thread was knitting, I thought, a thread was creating something other than what it normally does.

It was a day that started in a lazy way but the slowness prompted a frenzy of movment.

The movement involved clearing out two bookshelves and a box full of miscellanous stuff. A black bag was filled with books no longer used or not loved enough for a second or third read. Old colouring books and school reports were rediscovered.
There was a joy in this.
There was a newness to it, too.
And nothing was called rubbish: these will be passed on through a local charity shop or recycled along with rough drafts of my stories.

We relieved ourselves of a bag-full of possessions like dust from a paino.

Our tiredness seemed to vanish so we cycled in the cold air up the tree-lined avenue to Castletown House - Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian style house.

We zoomed past families with dogs, children and grandmothers; all 'taking in the fresh air'; all hoping for some sort of renewal of energy. We didn't stop to take in the views; we kept going, home, home again for some further expression.

My daughter sat down with a hot chocolate and started drawing.

I started writing a story entitled "Possessions", prompted, partly by our blog here, partly by the feeling of things shifting and moving today, partly because it is the end of the first month in a new year.

It is, of course, also about how possessions are held; how they are kept; what value we assign to them. In my story, the main character has just attempted suicide and is not permitted to have any possessions. His clothes are itemised in his notes and are stored in a bag. His notes state:
  • one pair of blue jeans;
  • one navy heavy cotton hooded jumper;
  • one white tee-shirt;
  • one pair of grey underpants;
  • one pair of white socks;
  • one right and one left of black runners;
  • one wrist-watch with a worn tan leather strap.
  • No valuables on person.
My thoughts, my challenge, then in this collaboration is how, I wonder would the idea of not having possessions be expressed in something that is made specifically to possess?
A bowl.
A story.
Can we,
* do we *
possess them?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A reply and influence of the seasons.

I wrote an e-mail to Shauna in reply to her previous blog post. But we both agreed it would be better to post it here, as that really is the point of this blog. If you want to read the post I'm replying too first, go here.

"I think it is good! I like the idea of collecting and people do use bowls often to collect bits and bobs. Even if my bowls are not really meant for this, the story is there and linking it all.

Funny how we both were drawn towards the feelings typical of this season. The story tellers/mummers only come out in this period as well if I understood well. When I looked at our 'starting' picture I thought for me I'm not going in the right direction with the baskets and the mummers, too dark, compared to all the sunshine in the pictures. I was actually surprised to see so much sunshine in there, as if we somehow forget the summer once it is winter. In Dutch we have a saying "If it left the eye,it let the heart too." I might have to write this down in a blog to make that next step :-)"

Reflecting further on why I had forgotten about the sunshine is maybe cause the wicker goat on which I had focused was in a dark shaded sport in a wooded area of the park. Or maybe I focused on this because it suited the time of year and the relating state of mind......