Thursday, August 18, 2016

Writing, thanks to Helen Garner

I’ve just finished Helen Garner’s Everywhere I Look, which I loved (surprise, surprise). Its inspired me to write again, though I worry I’ve forgotten how to do it; putting these two sentences together took far more work than expected. I’ve added “Writing” to my “Things To Do Now That My Course is Over” list, which is quickly filling up in a Monty-Python-esque way. (Me: “There are two main things I’d like to do with this time: Read books unguiltily, and learn a song on the guitar. Oh, and research for next year – three things. The three main things I’d like to do now that— hang on, I also wanted to investigate online singing lessons, so it’ll actually be four things all up. I have four main things to wait, I meant to add going to the gym regularly. And sorting photos! Six! Six things. Plus writing.”)

I particularly loved reading Garner’s snippets of everyday life in her diary chapters, and I’ve been practicing such Garnery (as it shall henceforth be known) as I sit on my back step in the sun or hang out with the kids. I’ve had a crack at mindfulness meditation lately after studying it in my last class, and I’m intrigued by the idea of mindful photography. I wonder now if mindful writing is a thing, or whether the act of constructing and editing descriptions means you’re less present than you would be if you were focussed solely on the imagining game you’re currently playing with your daughter (Hazel: *gasp* A crocodile’s eaten our sparkly things!). Maybe the trick is to savour the moment so thoroughly that it’s easily and vividly recalled later, when the house is quiet and paying attention doesn’t require quite so much effort.


Post a Comment