OK, hands up, I’ve not done my homework again. Well I have started it, but If I told you it mentioned ketchup you’d not get the joke. OK, a couple of people on the planet would maybe have a vague idea of what I’m getting at but…
The pensioners of today, were once the youth of their day. What happened to the baby boomers as they grew up? Maybe their childhoods were fractured by the aftermath of the war. Maybe they are just grumpy now because they are nearing death.
But children never think of death. They are invulnerable. They are immune to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and immune to the words of those around them. There is however an age at which you realise you are not immortal. That life has such a fragility about it that it will make your heart bleed with pain and your eyes weep as if they are burning.
The day you realise this is the day you change from a youth into an adult. The day your heart is ripped out and you realise your family has reduced in number. The day you realise what death means. The day you peer out over a cliff and really sweat with fear. The day you realise that you too have a finite number of days left. The day you realise that there is no point in crying because it can not change anything.
As you make that move from youth to adult your brain hard-wires itself to rethink, re-plan and reorganise the neurons into a new pattern. Life changes, your cells regenerate daily and over 7 years you are completely anew. That doesn’t mean you are young, just that your cells have undergone mitosis and have multiplied, duplicated and replicated themselves out of trouble. You are young only because you do not have grey hair. Time will come and paint that on for you soon enough. You are young because you have energy and no pain in your limbs. Life will inject that misery into your bones as it sucks the life out in exchange.
You will become old, no longer a youth of today. Apart from one tiny corner of your soul that will be forever fourteen. The girl who smiled as the shy boy on the bus. The girl who waved at him every day for the next three years. The girl who sneaked a cigarette. The girl who wore grey lace up boots with her new jeans. The girl who still went to the corner shop for her mum. The girl who typed endless onto reams of paper. The girl who dreamed of being an adult and moving away. That girl is still young.
Unless something better crawls out of my brain by tomorrow this might well be my homework.
It’s writing group this evening and yes once again I’m sat here trying to get my homework done. This will not be a surprise to anyone who knows me. I am master of doing things at the last minute. Which is probably why at half ten in the morning I am not able to write anything. Give it til this afternoon and I’ll probably be churning words out at a fair old rate of knots. But currently I’m becalmed, without words.
The theme is ‘Skin or kin’ 500 words. Pick either word or both.
Rate of knots made me think of being in the harbour at Seahouses.
Finally got round to writing something for the Writers and Artists Competition.
Persona Paper writer MelissaE has set a nice challenge in which creative writers are to imagine they have won a prestigious literary award, the Golden Pen (which is fictitious).
That’s an interesting exercise. One I’m sure all actors do before trotting off to an award ceremony!
I’m lost for words, well actually I’m not as I have here a few hundred I wrote earlier, just in case.
Thank you to everyone who helped me find the time and quiet space I need for writing. Thank you to those who provided enough angst in my life to help trigger some of the mood swings which have bought my writing to the very depths of hell and back again.
Thank you to the person who moves my pens. I know who you are and I will be dealing with you.
Thank you to everyone at my work for not mocking me too much when I asked you to read some of my work.
And thank you to the inventors of vodka.
When I was eighteen I filled in my university application forms and went off on a series of interview adventures. I went to Lancaster and whilst I was impressed by the number of bookshelves I wasn’t so keen on the amount of time it took to get there, and the campus looked a bit grim. That was echoed by someone mentioning there’d been a suicide very recently. So Lancaster was off the list.
I set off to Liverpool on the train. Changed at Birmingham as is the way for all journeys north and got onto a wonderful old train. It was the most bizarre carriages – single ones so no walking up and down the train. I got in and saw there was a nun sat in the carriage. That made me smile. I’m not religious but nuns are good things, so it made me smile.
As we moved towards Liverpool I could see the cathedrals in the distance and suddenly the sunshine filled me with a wonderful feeling that I was coming home. I’d never been to Liverpool before so it was a strange feeling to feel so happy as we trundled into Lime Street Station.
I left the station by the main doors and went down the steps and drank in the city. I’d only been there for a moment when a lady stopped me and asked if I needed directions.
“No, I’m fine, thank you” I said and smiled.
And It was. I knew which way I had to go to the university building without getting my map out. I went to the interview – which oddly I remember nothing about at all. They made me an offer of BBC. Which I didn’t get. I got BCD but they accepted me anyway.
And in the autumn of 1988 I went back to Liverpool.