15 May 2009

Women's Talk

Frankly, public discourse makes too much of gender.

I grew up in a society that treated women like children, controlling their presence in the workplace and preventing them from working outside the home with social controls known as
the "marriage ban". I feel no need to find links to this pernicious practice.
Like the bizarre practice of putting every well written book in Western Literature
on a banned index, this historical fact is just that... history.

I did not take the society I grew up in particularly seriously.
I just waited for it to change... and it did.

Things, despite climate change, fiscal stimulation and general hysteria in the workplace,
seem much more pleasant these day.

13 May 2009

Remembering the Rain Forest in Tasmania

In the Darkness Underneath the White Knights

The Way to Handle a Woman

"What do you write about in your blog?", I was asked yesterday.

A light-hearted riposte and I steered the subject to blogging in
general and the art of SEO in particular.

And then it struck me this morning...

I write about myslf.

The first short story I wrote out in pencil at the age of nine or ten introduced
me to the scrutiny of the agile critic's mind. My then "best friend" gave it a
very poor reception and remarked on the similarities in the plot to "Goldilocks
and the Three Bears". I had not the experience to point out that writers are
born plagiarists and since that helpful lesson I have to admit to trying harder
to find an individual voice.

Years of writing about literature and shopping (two very closely allied subjects, when you think about it) left me gasping for breath. For years after leaving hackery, I wrote letters whenever I felt like it and thought no more about the trade. Writing is like breathing, after all. You just do it and the themes come to meet you. The challenge of writing for a living taught me so much about people that I have often threatened a long, rambling memoir of my little life. However, a blog is just about as personal as I want to get. I write about myself for pleasure, not to sell a weighty tome to family and friends. Ever so often friends give advice... "You should write!!!" "But I do... here you are", I answer, offering a short blog piece which I hope will suffice. Remembering all the times I missed trips to the cinema or dinners at weekends because a piece, pressingly called for for tomorrow's paper kept me thumping away on an old Remington, I go off into a daydream and am happy to have made so many changes in my solitary life.
The last straw had to have been the exigence of short sentences. I love rambling though avenues of sub-clauses and take out favourite pieces by Colette and Proust from time to time to inspire my dreams.

It has always seemed to me that everyone in the Irish nation is innoculated at birth with a mixture of fountain pen and printer's ink. Biros and pencils have replaced the old and very messy systems, and if you really want to keep you hands clean, a computer is a must.
But, deep in our veins, a colourful strand of recorded language flows.

It is a gift...