Writing Our Way Home


Who are you
silver-haired woman?
Does your blood run
through my veins?
You lived, you breathed
I hope you laughed and loved,
and felt love in return.
But now all that’s left
is this sepia-tinted photograph,
musty, foxed and deckled,
in a box where there should
be more memories than there are.
There’s nothing more
to mark your footprint on this earth,
than the stranger who is me.
I was the last one left
when time ran out,
I should have asked
your name.
So if your bones
lie sleeping in some unknown graveyard
far from here,
sleep on in your eternal rest
and know I hold you dear.
#smallstone 12

I actually think this might be my great-grandmother on my mother’s side; I certainly have the nose. I like to think maybe it is but it is a great sadness to me that I know nothing more of her other than she was likely of Scots/Irish descent.

I hope I am not boring everybody senseless with what passes for these small stones, I have said elsewhere I don’t think mine are absolutely how they should be but to me that is the essence of expression that these things arrive and are born the way they wish to be. I don’t see it as my job to get in the way but simply to give expression to them in the best way I can. Observers of the comments on some of the pieces will find that has not necessarily been to everybody’s taste.  And that’s OK. If a writer can’t take criticism, good and bad then they have no business being or trying to be a writer.

For me the process of the 31 Days of Waking Up is more about showing up every day to write than anything else, of establishing that rhythm and regaining focus on what is important to me. I’ve been a long time out of this particular saddle, focused on things that have both distracted me and in their own way left me a little bit more damaged and bent out of shape than I already was. One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever heard comes from my own personal hero, Margaret Atwood, I can’t remember when or where I either read or heard this but to paraphrase, she said: good writing comes from where there’s a knot.

With that in mind then, no bad experience can possibly be wasted on a writer and therefore my little sojourn into the emotional badlands can be no bad thing and that is how I chose to see it.

Wishing everybody a productive, happy  and peaceful week. Small stones will return probably a little later this week as I am off to see The Railway Man tomorrow.