Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Bold claims

Outside our front door the snowflake bushes are in full flower. Last year one of the pair was very small and unimpressive, but with the rain earlier this year, both are magnificent. Even the dry current weather hasn’t slowed down the flowers. Usually the bushes are alive with bees and other insects. You can hear the humming and activity from anywhere on top of the hill. This year the bushes are almost empty of insects and I have yet to find out why. My neighbour tells me that like everything, flowers have good and bad years. Maybe it is just a bad year for pollen. Our other neighbour has been spraying his fields recently, trying to revive paddocks long neglected and overtaken by weeds of all kinds. I wondered if that has affected the insects. It certainly hasn’t slowed down the mosquitoes.

While I was looking at the bushes, almost fluorescing whitely against the blue sky and the dry golden grass, I remembered that last year I had posted photographs of them. And this means that I have now been writing this blog for more than a year. For some reason, I hadn’t realised this. I started writing it to motivate myself to write and it is still serving that purpose. I also realised this week that I am thinking of myself more as a writer. Perhaps my early morning writing is reminding me of that. It’s going well in spite of the fact that I still stumble out of bed, and don’t fully wake up until I am halfway through the first cup of coffee. I don’t even get to appreciate much of the glory of the mornings because I make myself sit straight down and start writing. I haven’t even been turning on the computer as I don’t want to disturb anyone. I value that time of quietness and writing too much. I just make coffee, grab my favourite pen which I store securely way from the depredations of family members and my notebook and sit down at the dining table to write.

Blithe Girl is our only other early riser and she already knows not to disturb me at this time. Sometimes she sleeps through but mostly she comes out to say good morning then climbs back in bed with a book. I wonder how different it will be when the house is larger? Will it be easier to sneak out of bed and work or will I be more tempted to sleep in?

Last week I had to go to the bank to fill in some forms. There was the usual array of questions and required identification. Then there was the question of occupation. I calmly took a breath and firmly penned “writer.” I’ve been waiting for the phone to ring with someone saying at the other end “and what do you really do?” On the other hand, it is what I really do. I just don’t get paid for it. But we’ve already dismissed the time-money-value equation elsewhere. I’m going to stick with my claim.

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