house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Trireme in the Teacup

When I was a child and had just discovered stories and poetry, I'd read for hours in my room. I sometimes came across words of such power and beauty, they shouted across my whole world and I just burst with the joy of them. They were tropical storms unleashed, and me – a firefly in their path. Overwhelmed, I'd take them next door, to read aloud to my parents. They'd stop to listen, with the day's troubles and toil still churning in their minds, exhausted and harassed.

Dad sat in his chair, tall and broad as a mountain, turned to stone. Mum squirmed and twitched. The day's reading over, I'd lift my head, expecting tears and ovations. Invariably I'd get: an indulgent smile from dad; a sigh and a nod from mum, followed by prosaic commands such as 'go tidy your room now', or 'quick, get the laundry off the line before the rain starts'.

A question of wavelength of course, and I always failed to sense it, and it never failed to catch me right in the solar plexus. Bruised and concussed, I'd retreat back into my otherworlds.


Nothing's changed. And I should know by now.

When I send a story into the world – it's like launching a ship. First, it must be good enough to float. Then, even for the shortest journey, it needs a favourable wind. It needs to slip seamlessly into an equal wavelength.

And even so, I'm still just playing with paper boats in a teacup.


(Who said the House of Happy should be happy, always? I have days. I get despondent. Duh.)

Watch me, overwhelmed with my own cleverness. I'd written so much, I had so much to share. 'So share' - I urged myself, and once again popped into the living room so to speak, flushed face, tremulous voice, manuscript in hand; well, what I actually did was send a link to my writings, in an email, to the entire family. I beamed all night, and waited (how sad is that?).


Today, three days later, still no answer from anyone, complete silence.


I guess I'd better tidy up my room and bring in the laundry.


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