Saturday, May 26, 2012
Sand in the Oyster
Dear readers and writers,
I've been reminded several times lately that things-out-of-place make a great theme for writing. One reminder was in my Pomona College Magazine, where I read about Angolan students studying in Portugal when Portugal embarked on slaughter of Angolans in Angola. You may have read Heart of Darkness by Conrad in one of your literature classes. It was about the Portuguese occupation of the Congo, the next door neighbor of Angola. When the dictator and his henchmen recollected the ones studying in Portugal, would they be far behind? So the story was about a man who spent days driving batches of these students across Spain to France, where they could get papers and receive protection. It was riveting. I mean, I started reading it in the bathroom when I was about to go to bed and could not stop, no matter how sleepy I had thought I was.
The next reminder was my reading in preparation for our trip to the inland passage mentioned in my last posting. As the glacial ice disappears, the ocean rises and the safety of animals that cross the glacier decreases. The animals WERE in their place but the place has changed so much it's no longer safe. So now, home is out of place, a scary concept for thirsty humans living in a big city in desert country; a concept that made me write a few sad poems lately.
The third reminder was my husband's shoes. We both take off our shoes in the house, but unlike the Japanese people, we don't keep them on a rack by the door. Each of us has a favorite spot. But sometimes, they come off elsewhere and then when we need them, they're elusive. It almost seems as if they're hiding on purpose. What if they did? So goes a funny little microfiction.
Think about the sand in the oyster when you're looking for inspiration. Things out of their normal places make great story or poem starters.