This was a homework assignment for Jeremy Treglown's Writing and the Practice of Literature class. Loved writing this.
Describe a place where you write. Don’t talk about yourself or your writing. Approx 500 words.
N.B: I’ve taken slight liberties here and briefly described my writing materials, though not my actual writing, simply because it somehow made it more fun, and somehow made the landscape seem more alive, because you could see it playing an active part, having an effect. I kind of hinted how the landscape might feed into the writing process itself, but without explicitly mentioning any act of writing, because for me the two things are somewhat inextricable Hope this isn’t breaking the rules too much.
Where I write.
There are trees. The sunlight dapples down through the broken canopy, and casts shuffling glares upon a laptop screen or a plain white sheet. Their leaves wave shushing in the wind, a constant whispering conversation that simultaneously inspires and comforts. Listen deep enough, and the creaks and groans of wooden bodies struggling to bend closer to talk are evident. A pen lies cushioned on luscious green grass, a duvet of uplifting strands glowing in an orgasm of chlorophyll. A cat lies sunning himself on the plastic darkness of a picnic table, and the house hunches grumbling in the background at its abandonment. The sky is blue.
There is a sweet, pungent scent of fallen plums swarming in the air, a warm taste of sticky refreshment. Willow leaves litter down, a swirling mass of delicate dancing to skip in time with ideas. The grass is tired now, stems bending under the weight of a season’s energy, heads nodding in the start of slumber. A breeze ruffles the coats of the bushes, who huddle together in premature wariness. The paper has moved position now, travelling from the shade to the centre of the space, glowing a dull gold in a gentler sunlight. A feline gaze pierces each movement and stillness from the gritty bed of the patio, the last place to retain its heat. The sky scatters itself with grey.
Bare withes rattle, and nude twigs scrape, but their protests can barely be heard. There is a notepad on a windowsill and a cat licking blue from his paws. A sharp spike of frosted feeling blasts through the gaps. The glass looks out onto a space remembered, but which has to be waited for. Which has to be reawakened. There is no sun now, and the pen sleeps on a new bed, glittering metal in a silver-white glare. The estranged sky throws confetti for its wedding day.
The sky bears stretch marks now of a pregnant blue, straining clouds of purple. Pages lie scattered over a woodwormed table as the kettle whistles its nursery rhyme. Yellow eyes stare out of a mud clear flap, and a black tail flicks. A pen lies lidded on the tabletop in readiness for its green pillow. And there’s a key half turned in the lock.
This is a different space now: different contours, different smells, a whole new concept of what it means to be. There are different sofas here, less metaphorical cushions, and the words that fill this place are not the work of one person. It’s… cosy. And warm. Reminiscent of other warmths, other comforts, but not quite the same. There is glass, though – again – this time more glass than before. It boundaries two sides of the space, giving an illusion of freedom. And it looks out onto something much better. There are people telling stories out there – grey brown bodies clustering so close in their hushed conversation that leafy heads of hair intermingle, a million undyed shades of green. There is a paper pad on the table, and its sheets are no longer white. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to stay there for long.