...Thursday writer's workshop is always a joy...not because of what I write ...but to hear the amazing stories and poems that emerge from each of the writers' pens over less than two hours work....
The prompt this week was the word.."Red"...ohhh...red mist...red carpet...red flowers...red blood!!!
Mine was blood and DNA....
"A Phone Call"
The phone rang and I answered it. Just a phone call, like any other phone call. A call from the sister. I say THE sister as I only had one sister. She was the little pet of the family. Seven years between us meant that I was the big sister. I was the "can you look after your sister love?" person designated to take her to whatever I was going to myself. Friend's house...shopping in town...rugby match at the sports ground down the Ravenhill....Can you imagine a seven year old standing in the crowd when it swayed left and right as the ball alternated up and down the pitch? Mum had no idea what a rugby crowd was like. So I'm yelling part time for the school team and the rest of the time for the sister to "watch out!"..."stop standing on my toes!"..."leave go of my legs!"
Anyway, back to the phone call. Well we're great friends now. Although we've gone in very different directions, we're closer than ever. And it's a bad week if we don't chat and catch up on family news, and find something to have a belly laugh about. All the years of memories good and bad, happy and sad with the three major adults in the family gone now. So we cling to our relationship and recognize the stabilizing effect it has on our everyday existance.
Everyone has things that happen to "upset the apple cart". The unexpected, round the corner things. You know..illness, separation, divorce, finance, redundancy....need I go on! So it's always good to have absolutes to keep your feet firmly on the ground of life. We find normalising situations as quickly as possible a good premise to go on. After all everything is normal when you add up your experiences and divide by the number you first thought of!
And phone calls are such a great normaliser in our modern world. Especially now that we all have our mobiles....mobile phones that is...not mobile homes! Too normal I think when I see the young gazing into screens or business people in cafes or on trains instructing and pontificating in loud important voices...bah!
The sun was shining in through the french windows as the phone rang. I pulled the curtain across to stop me squinting in the bright sunlight. Apart from that I often pulled it across just to see the cicadas in the pattern of the cloth. I bought it at a flea market in Provence many years ago. I find it good to have happy memories around..oh and also good if the phone call should get a bit boring or one-sided.
But that's not normally the way with the sister can I say...too much to gossip about. Family goings-on to relate. We trip over ourselves wordily getting so much into the call.Outdoing each other in funny anecdotes and dissing those others whose antics make us shake our heads. It's the same in every family. There are those you are glad are members and then there are others who although not on your wavelength actually make for an interesting conversation..you know what I mean...sometimes we call it a rant...it eases the tensions of life!
"Hi!" I said. "How's things?". There was silence. "Are you still there?". "Yes". The sister sighed. "Something up?"...I anticipated a bit of a rant. Nothing. "Speak to me...."
She spoke."It's true....we have another sister!".
Then this afternoon I read Antony Wilson's wonderful poetry blog..."Lifesaving Poems"..blogs like this...so full of information and poets that I've yet to explore, have been a veritable godsend in the blogger world...and so I said...I can't write like Stephen Berg...and then promptly wrote ...like Geraldine Snape!!!
I can't write like Stephen Berg
But Margaret says,"I like your asides."
Those are the funny bits I put in the writing
At the Thursday workshop.
I think women are good at asides
It takes the sting out of the parts of life
We want to normalise.
Normalise...what's that all about?
I learnt that from Doreen years ago
She needed it.
And the"professionals" said
"That how you'll cope with everything."
They were dead right there.
We took it on as a mantra.
You know those words the Buddists talk about?
But we didn't think George Harrison's
Hari, Hari, suited our situation.
So we took on,"normalise",
That's all we needed to say to one another.
George put the shelves up in the off license
When he was just seventeen we heard.
That's an aside, things were getting too serious,
So I put that in.
But I like the story anyway.
The potter took them down as soon as we bought the shop.