Saturday, 17 December 2011

Something for the Armoire

As I said two posts ago, the room in my head so recently vacated by two of my teaching jobs is large and echoey, and not unlike this:

Source: http://fibreciment.deviantart.com/art/LALM-09-124470018?q=gallery%3Afibreciment&qo=161

As you can see, other members of the dispossessed have been in and sprayed the walls with their secret messages. A stray dog wanders in from time to time, but never stays. A tramp poked his head in the door the other day and asked me if I needed anything. He could spare some change, he said, for a cup of tea. I said, thank you, but once I get the stove

Source: http://thecroft.wordpress.com/2007/01/

lit I'd make some. He was welcome to stay and have a cup, I told him, but he snorted and left. Maybe he was a Twinings man.

Anyway, I'm beginning to feel more at home here, I dragged an armoire off a skip, gave it a lick of paint, and already the echoes have quietened.

Last night, whilst dozily blog browsing I popped into Monica's , briefly joined in the chat about what to do with ideas, and happily left with something (to flog the metaphor to death) to place on a shelf in the armoire. I think it might be fine French linen.

Regular readers of this blog will know I  keep a journal, I've banged on about it on several occasions, it's mostly filled with whinings of the "I'm not writing..." sort. Monica doesn't keep a journal, but she does keep a notebook specially for ideas. This keeps them safe for possible future realization. Mmm...

I tend to scribble ideas on my wall, along with lesson plans, to-dos, and all number of other things. But they get wiped off before I ever get a chance to realise them, to make room, often enough, for new ideas. I could single out one of the huge number of note books that lurk, dustily, around this room and use it for the job, but I know myself well enough to know I won't use it regularly. My ideas usually resemble fleshless pinkie bones when they first appear, not really worth writing down on paper.

As I was leaving a comment on Monica's post it suddenly struck me: all I need do to safeguard ideas that may in the future be useful (fleshable), not to mention to-dos that have yet to be done, is take a snap of the wall before each wiping. Or, better still, every morning. This means when I get a new idea and need to jot it down before it evaporates I'll be able to clear a space for it without having to stop and find my camera. Which, lets face it, I'm unlikely to be bothered to do. So that's that then: every morning when I sit down with a cup of tea at my desk I will pick up my camera and take a shot of my wall. Here's the first one (be prepared to get very tired of this):

As you can see there's bugger all on it. And some of it's been there a while. I hope this will change as I retake possession of my head-space. 

I wonder if I'll be able to bring myself to wipe these names off now I know they'll be safely stored in a snap-shot? They were the first things I scrawled all those years ago because I was writing a lot of short stories (for my degree), and I kept calling all my characters Lucy. 

I don't write short stories any more, so I don't really need them, but, I don't know, there's something of the cenotaph about them which attracts me. 

So, recap, a little corner of my head-space is now cosy with the idea to take a photo of my wall every morning, and then wipe it clean. Or, should I wipe it? That could make me anxious to fill it just for the next shot, which isn't really the point.  


angryparsnip said...

I love the idea of taking a photo every morning then if you need to you can save or delete the photo without having to think about the blackboard. Your mind can wander without any need to edit.

OK I am intrigued by 99 eggs. That will be one hell of a souffle or a cake !

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

I so covet the blackboard.
99 eggs is easy - you have 99people coming for breakfast- in your armoire.

Eryl said...

My mother used to tell a story about how, when they lived in Burma, her mother would make a batch of Christmas cakes every year which required 99 eggs. I've written it on my wall because I think it could be a good title for the book I'm, sort of, writing about my Burmese roots.

I like the idea of my mind being free to wander without any need to edit. Thanks, Parsnip.

Eryl said...

Pat ~ you have the best mind! I'm sure you could find a bit of wall and paint it with blackboard paint. I've done one in the kitchen, too, for shopping lists and the like.

MITM said...

Somewhere in the dark recesses of your mind, a nagging suspicion is brewing about trusting the reality of all that empty space. You will want to take a mental picture of your wall of note at night to compare to the matin digital. If you detect subtle changes - question the tramp.

Thank you for your brilliance and the pastries. I'm quite enjoying your blog.

Kim Ayres said...

I think the snapshots of the wall is a superb idea. However, I don't think you should feel the pressure to do it every day, unless that feel right.

You could start up a 2nd blog which just has Eryl's Wall Photos on it. Each day, or each time you take a photo, upload it to the blog. It's then there for you to scroll through anytime you want.

I toyed with doing a something similar with old notebooks, because they are full of ideas and then I never look at them again. I always mean to, but never quite get round to it. I'm not using them, but don't want to lose them, just in case.

So a 2nd blog just for wall photos might be a way to go. There's no pressure to build or maintain a following for it - although you can point people to it occasionally if you have a particular wall of note. No doubt a few people will be regular visitors, and some of your scribblings might inspire them.

I too was intrigued by 99 eggs, and would never have guessed the idea behind them, but might well have come up with ideas of my own.

Anyway, just another idea - perhaps to scribble in a notebook, on the wall, or in a blog post... :)

Eryl said...

MITM ~ I am going to write: "question the tramp" on my wall.

Kim ~ that is a jolly good idea. And I do have a tumblr blog, started for some other reason and not kept up, that I could use. Thank you!

elizabeth said...

I'm green green with envy at the SPACE!
and the blackboard and what an astounding place to write
so lots of love and best wishes for being madly creative here.
Love your list of names.
I'm quite obsessed with the connotations names have.
Lucy to me is light and fluffy
not a tragic name.
Merry merry

Kass said...

I love all the "ideas" here. I have scraps of my mental off-spewings all over the house. I like your chalkboard...and your mind.

Unknown said...

Howdy Eryl,
It is intriguing to have the chance to look at the words on your boards and yours is a brilliant idea to photo them!! I can learn from this!! What I'm not clear on is did you stop your job? If so, I think your next thing will include more of the things you are good at i.e. being a Kitchen Bitch.

What struck me in reading Monica's post, was that she has given herself the freedom to not feel upset if some of her ideas don't come to pass. I am guilty of this and after reading her words I realize that it's ridiculous.

It's funny to think how many small actions it takes to create one large work of art. Some things call us and are meant to be and other times, someone else will grab the same idea at the same time and take action.

Being creative is so much more than the money or the fame. It is a way to love life, a avenue for solving problems and every time we win a battle and create something beautiful or worthwhile it is like a miracle. this is what I've been learning more and more. You know way is another miracle, it has seemed that if I would just show up and do what I thought I should, that always there has been just the right amount of $.

thinking of you and your nice little wood stove.


rochambeau said...

I meant "You know what is another miracle.

Also, SO GLAD you read and liked A Christmas Memory.

Eryl said...

Elizabeth ~ fascinating that Lucy is light and fluffy to you; to me it's clipped and a little cold until you get to know the person and find it's fragile.

Kass ~ I'd like to see those scraps of yours one day.

Constance ~ I work freelance, so two of my jobs have come to their natural end, and the last will finish in mid January. I will need to find some other way of earning money, sadly.

I've only just discovered Monica, and I find her very levelling. Rather like you. This is what I like so much about blogging: there are so many people sharing their creative processes, with all that that entails. It makes me feel normal.

Carole said...

I love your chalkboard. If I had that many thoughts, I would do a happy dance. As it is, I get to live vicariously through your blackboard and your ruminations. Oh and I get to make your recipes.

You are one of those people that just should be emulated by a whole herd of others.

Merry, Merry Christmas Eryl.

Eryl said...

Goodness, thank you, Carole (I suspect those who live with me might think differently)!

Very, merry Christmas to you, too, X