Today has been another day of pie making. Yesterday I had a bit of a writers block, so made some pies. We have an abundance of apples, and pie making is almost meditative to me. Soon, the writers block was gone and I wrote yesterdays post.
After that post I started to question myself..”Is there anything in Ireland that I regret?” and the only thing I can think of was not getting that fountain pen, and journal.
I was staying in Cork, and one of the young house mates and I went into the city for the afternoon. It was a lovely sunny day, and she was showing me places I never would have found on my own. Oh yes, did I say her car was a convertible? We had a lot of fun and we took one of the side streets as she wanted to show me a really neat little shop, one of her favorite places. It was lovely and had all sorts of lovely things in it, and I spotted some fountain pens.
My friends know I like pens, they each have their own feel, and flow a certain way, and I am always on the lookout for “just the perfect pen”, if such a thing exists. I picked up a couple and tried them out- WOW- here it was, or close to it. It was well balanced, and I could not get over how smooth it wrote. It was lovely, as was the price tag. It was not outrageous, but on my budget at the time, I could not justify spending 45 Euro on a pen- that works out to roughly $72 Canadian. And of course, right beside the pens, was a lovely selection of leather bound, hand made journals, they were exquisite. But once again out of my budget.
We then went and had something to eat and had a lovely time. I mean, how could I not…I was in Ireland!!!
Well, for the rest of the trip, that pen and journal haunted me, I could not figure out why, but every once in a while it would pop up in the back of my mind. I found this intriguing, if not irritating.
Today was another pie making day, and as I’m making the pies I keep thinking about the pen, and wondering why it still keeps popping up. Then slowly the realizations come.
I have always loved the look of a fountain pens. As I kid, I associated serious writers, real writers with fountain pens. I must have seen a picture or a movie where there was a “Real Writer” with his/her fountain pen and journal. If you had these you were the “Real Deal”
I struggled in school! It was not a fun time for me. “Dick and Jane and Sally and Spot” bored the Hell out of me and I would go home and read Dr Seuss. I did not, and still can not understand the grammatical rules of writing. If you start speaking to me about the rules,my eyes soon glaze over, and I look like a dear in the headlights. You might as well be speaking Greek to me. I pretty much flunked, or came close to flunking, every English class I ever took. But I remember one magical moment……
I was 7 years old, so I would have been in grade 2 or 3, in Sidney Elementary. Up till then the only reasons I was noticed in school, was because my older brothers kept getting into trouble, I did not have the latest fashion- thats an understatement- and I was the kid with no pencils. I was to terrified to tell my parents I needed pencils. I had learned at a young age, you don’t ask for anything, because that just caused trouble. I had also learned not to stand out, being noticed was not safe.
Until I wrote!!
I remember that morning. I was at my desk and we had to write a story. I had no idea what I was going to write, then I started. Sitting at the desk, the forth row over, fifth seat down.,I was so small, my scuffed shoes did not touch the floor. My right hand grasped the small, well used, yellow hexagon chewed up, stub of a pencil. I wrote….”One night when it was pitch dark. I went out to my boat to sleep. I had a gun with me. When I got to sleep, a great big sea monster came out of the sea and took the boat and pushed it out to sea.When it was morning, I got up and out of the cabin, I saw the boat in the sea. I saw an awful man. I said, ” who, who, who are you?’…..
I remember I kept writing and it came so easily, it flowed and was effortless. And one of the very few times in my short life, I think I was relaxed and everything else, troubles and all seemed to fade away. This felt good, this felt right, like I was meant to write. I kept writing and got agitated when the class was coming to an end and we had to finish up. I abruptly finished the story.
The teacher then gathered the stories from the class as she was going to type them up for all of us. The following week she gave them back to us, and asked me to stand in front of the class and read mine. It was the longest story- about 3/4’s of a page long, and she wanted me to read the story to the class.
Now, the year before, during “Show and Tell” I stood in front of the class and told them about an insect I had learned about in a book. I showed the class the book, the picture of the insect, and told the class it was called a “Walking Stick” While I was still standing there my teacher told me and the class that I was “lying and there is no such thing as a walking stick” I then showed the teacher the book, and her reply was ” Well the book is wrong”
But, this was a new year, a new teacher, and she wanted me to read my story so I did. For once I was doing something right. I then ran home and told Mom about the story and showed it to her. There was no reaction, and it was never mentioned again. I guess I wasn’t meant to be a writer.
Decades later, my mom told me she had showed it to a friend of hers. This friends ex husband was the publisher of a British women’s magazine. They wanted to publish the story, and send me to a private school, but as mom said..”we couldn’t let that happen.”
I still have that story, I found it folded up in my moms jewellery box. This is very interesting as nothing was ever saved. I wrote that story on October 5th, 1967.
So today, as I was making the pies- eight of them, it was a long meditative day- I thought of all of this, and the fountain pen and journal. It fascinates me, how after all these years of therapy, things and beliefs are still sitting in the psyche, until they are ready to look at.
I have looked at this event before, its nothing new. I have looked at my moms lack of reaction. I understand the complexities of the family and the rules I lived in. I get that. But until this afternoon as I was taking one batch of pies out of the oven, and putting the other batch in, that the Eureka moment hit me.
I did not get the fountain pen and journal because somewhere in my psyche I believed, as a writer, that I am not the “Real Deal”, not a “Legit” or “Serious” writer. I was fascinated with this realization, and have some loving and gentle self talk to do.
Here is another gift Ireland has given me. Who would have known, not allowing myself to get something, would in itself bring me a gift. I will be contemplating this for awhile, and I imagine making pies as I do.
I also know, that when the time is right, the right fountain pen will find me, because I am a serious, and legit writer. I may not have a published book, but I am the real deal. Cant ask for much more then that 🙂
Thank you again for coming on this journey with me, we never know whats going to turn up.