Writer’s retreat: creativity and ‘procrastination’?
Still I have not begun to plan the 3rd novel in any detail … the merging or not of the Mullins family saga, and an unfinished piece from 2002 may work … but then again, it may not. Procrastination would be putting off the decision: this is plain waiting on what the decision might be.
The importance of spending time doing something else, somewhere else
Meanwhile, we have been travelling. Back and forward in time. There was the family celebration, and a journey to the North East. Family wedding is a place for meetings, re-connections, informations and speculations.
- We met second cousins we’d never met before …
- We reconnected with those we’ve kind kept up with … how much had we all changed?Underneath, are we the same?
- We gathered and exchanged and updated information: where do you live, what do you do… what will you do…?
- We speculated: who looks like whom? Do we all match? What is the genetics here: the relatives who all go back to Charles Henry Wheeler and Maria Sakilariou, who married in 1873 at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St Sophia in London through their son Alexander … and the name (Alexander) is still passing along down, from my grandfather to my father, to my cousin (the bridegroom), and my son Alexander Ben …
It was a grey day, the day before the Summer Solstice. In honour the occasion, the sun appeared almost last-minute, late afternoon, and everyone relaxed.
All very appealing to the fiction writer, this exchange of news over time, and possible futures, and how lives pan out … and where they meet and where they come from (Charles Henry from Hampshire, son of a harness and saddle maker, Maria from Tinos, Greece, lady’s maid to Euphrosyne Cassavetti, of Constantinople and Kensington).
- We enjoyed, we celebrated, we ate and we went our ways … Family Saga reality show carefully recorded for future viewing … We took a day exploring the area, and the countryside and a walk in the late evening sun.
Sharing time with friends
And then, back home, there was a meditative walk with friends, (‘the family you choose’ – is that a quote?)
- There was our Franciscan friend, who lead the walk. And the friends who turned up: all of them the least expected: one back from California, one a busy Mum almost straight from the surgery to the meadow, and two who’d read about our group and come along to find out more.
- We walked and read and thought about St Francis’s Song of Creation, and the sun and the moon were both there, white clouds floated in a wide high evening sky, joggers ran past and couples pushed babies in buggies … we stood on dry ground where in very wet seasons a lake forms and migrant widgeon over-winter in hundreds. And there was a poor stiff stoat lying prone on the allotment, symbolising how all creation eventually returns to the earth.
- And we sang Francis’s Song.
- I took no pictures, which is unusual for me, and was a deliberate kind of discipline.
The light bulb moment
For some reason, today the idea, the link, the merging, slipped itself into my brain. You could do it this way, with those characters …
Meanwhile, hoping to read widely while on holiday … more wild and woolly creepy crawlies to blog about later! (Be prepared for caterpillars, and snails …)