Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NaNo Taster

For Catherine .... another little taster. Full of spelling and grammatical mistakes and probably a few ?s along the way ... but oh well ...

Outside the Brisbane evening was preparing for a storm. The air outside remained clammy after dark, just as it had been throughout the afternoon. The humidity had risen, rather than fallen as the stormhead had raced from the west, towards the city, against the brilliant backdrop of the crimson sunset. Commuters were rushing towards their respective modes of transport, as she’d patiently negotiated the peak hour traffic through the city. With briefcases in one hand and collapsed umbrellas in the other, she knew that they prayed the downpour would hold off until they got home. Sitting at red light, after red light, she tapped her fingers on the steering wheel. With the freedom of windows up and airconditioning on, she sang along to ??? and tried to tune out of the incessant internal tape that threatened to demolish her intensely nurtured confidence before she even stepped out on to the stage.

Would people come? Would they be supporters or detractors? Would the storm keep people away? Would the press come and if they did, would she be able to handle the questions? And more importantly - did she really know what she was doing?

The evening was the first part of a well thought out and bursting public and media campaign. She didn’t want to put a hex on the next six weeks, by placing all expectations, present and future on the outcome of this first public foray. “What will be, will be,” she gently reminded herself. Over the course of the last five years she had learnt the lessons of surrender and of the working of the universe. What ever was meant to happen tonight would happen and that would be the way it was intended to be played out. That was just the way that it was and fighting the rip tide of destiny exhausted you. She’d done that, it didn’t work and this time she was swimming with the rip tide as it dragged her way out of her comfort zone and into the wild tumultuous sea of public scrutiny.

An hour later, she watched the shadow of the CBD’s sky scape against the voluptuous cumulous clouds, each time the lightning lit the sky. Short intense flashes, growing in duration and the brilliance, were interspersed by rumbles of thunder. The storm crescendo was building, in a labouresque scenario … lightning the surges of ecstatic but uncontrollable energy racing through the sky’s abdomen, followed by the lowing groan and roar of the thunder. The meteorological tempest was moving in an ever quickening pace towards the final capitulation. She envisaged the clouds releasing their watery pregnant wombs, in the mid-Spring downpour that the whole city had been waiting for; birthing the city anew. The storm was definitely without the brooding Shakespearean overtones that foretold death and destruction – or that was what she was convincing herself of.

Inside the historic hall, a small group of helpers were putting the final physical touches to the campaign launch. Dragging old metal chairs from the storeroom into place, checking the audio and multimedia equipment, filling the urn, and lining up the platters of donated dainty sandwiches, slices and cakes. The well of generosity had overflowed in torrential proportions in regards to the evening. Every piece of equipment, food and all the door prizes were donated from women within her extended community. She felt her cup runneth over.

As the large drops of rain began to splosh on the still warm concrete path below, releasing the heady smell of rain and wet concrete, she went back to the first morning she set her feet on this path. The morning had been warm and dry, a glorious winter’s morning. The gentle breeze of earlier on had disappeared and the sun was building in intensity towards its midday zenith, burning away the last of the dew. As she worked slowly at pegging out the washing, the cacophony of thoughts and ideas sparked by the email, ran against the soundtrack of the ebb and flow of children’s laughter and games, from the kindy over the back fence.

She was pegging the clothes out as she always did; Wil’s clothes to the centre quarter of the Hills Hoist, then Y’s to the left quarter and finally her clothes to the right. The back quarter was tangled in the line of lillypilly trees across the back fence and was emergency space. It meant that the washing line never spun in the breeze and Wil would miss out on the forbidden exhilaration of dangling from a wildly gyrating and jerking clothes line. She had remembered all the times that she and her sister had been berated as kids for swinging on the ancient lop sided Hills Hoist in their yard. It was the only thing in childhood that she ever repeatedly did, even though she knew it would mean getting into trouble each and every time. The thrill of flying above the ground, her hands gripped tight to the cold aging metal, of them taking it in turns to push each other and the ever present fear of crashing into the huge rotund holly tree that grew just to the side, had risen up in her as she reminisced. The holly tree and Hills Hoist had been one when they first moved in there, to the old farmhouse as kids, just as the lillypilly trees and her washing line had been when her family moved in here. It was if she had revisited the same point in her life, just in a different location and time.

Standing on the balcony, drinking in with every sense the evening thunderstorm, she felt the same thrill again, only this time not of swinging on the washing line. This time it was the thrill of running with the passion that her righteous anger fuelled. She felt it was no coincidence that the Hills Hoist memory surfaced that morning same morning that the email had arrived - to remind her of the excitement of doing what she loved to do, even when it ran contrary to what others close to her believed was right.

The e-mail was there in her inbox when she arrived home from the school drop off. It had stirred her in a way that few things were able to do. She remembered that she thought it was no coincidence that there eclipse due sometime that same day. The gentle realisation that she wanted to walk the path of a writer had also occurred on an eclipse. She was no astro fiend, but a passing interest had allowed her to see the links and interweaving between the movement of the planets and how they related to the subtle, and sometime less than subtle movements in her life. If she was reading into it, that didn’t really concern her. It had been one more tool in teasing the meaning of life from the fabric of every day existence.

1 comment:

catherine said...