Saturday, March 19, 2011

Onions

And so the day begins. My grandson is staying overnight. He shared a room with one of his aunties and she has taken charge until later in the morning when my husband takes over to cook pancakes as promised for breakfast. The others are still sleeping but the day has begun.

I have snuck off to write. That’s the operative verb, to sneak off, to slink off, to leave the room unnoticed, just so that I might be able to get in a few minutes of writing time before the rest of the day begins and I lose this opportunity, the best opportunity as I see it, early weekend mornings for writing practice.

I watched Shrek with my grandson last night and the word onion comes to mind. Shrek tells Donkey that an ogre, like an onion, is layered. In other words, an ogre is not simply a function of his external appearance nor of his behaviour. Underneath the layers of hardness, of ugliness, at least in our terms, there is also a thoughtfulness and tenderness that might surprise even the thickest of donkeys.

It takes time to get to other layers of experience.

Today I will clean out the fridge. It is giving off a bad smell as though something had died in there. On a first inspection I cannot locate the source. Smells like this are disturbing.

It’s hard to get into this writing imagining that at any minute I will be interrupted but more than that feeling guilty that I should not be here writing, rather I should be there in the kitchen with my grandson, though he does not need me at the moment. He is happy to trawl through his Thomas the Tank books while my husband prepares the pancakes.

I am free to write now but my mind is tangled up in the topmost layers of my thoughts and it is hard to get down below to where I prefer to go.

I prefer to go below because to me below is where the deepest meanings reside. They do not live on the surface along with all other superficialities. Though the surface is always our first port of call.

I will need to empty the fridge completely in order to find the source of that bad smell. I will need to write for some time in order to get down to the deepest layers of meaning.

My grandson is calling, this writing will have to wait.
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