Threads

How do you prefer to write? I like to write out things by hand first and then type them up later, and there are two main reasons for this. 1) Holding a pen in my hand makes me feel more connected to what I’m writing – there’s a certain impersonality about typing directly into a computer (though, I’ll admit sometimes I do just type things). 2) It provides the opportunity for an edit as I type it up. Certain words might sound wrong or I might restructure something based off a later idea. It adds an edit into the creative process without having to battle the feeling of “this is finished”, which often gets in the way of immediate editing. It works for me, and doubtless you have ways of writing that work for you. All well and good.

What does tend to happen, as you will have noticed if you’ve been following my blog for a while, is that I write something down – poetry, mainly – and then forget to type it up. This is not because I’m unorganised. Well, not mostly. Mostly it’s because sometimes a poem comes to mind when I’m in the middle of writing a play or prose. I note the poem down, finish it up, and the head back to my other project and forget that I wrote it at all. Also, I own too many notebooks, because I like notebooks and because I swap what each notebook is used for depending on what I’m doing. When I’m out and about I have a small notebook for poetry and ideas, then I have a roughbook for project building and play writing, then there’s a novel writing book, and then generic roughbooks for use with university work, meetings at work, roleplaying biographies and so on and so forth. Poetry tends to get lost in the myriad of other projects I have going on, unless I remember to type it up as soon as I can get to a computer.

The good thing is I don’t throw away notebooks, so I tend to find the poem eventually. Whilst looking for a book with a little space left in which to write the end of a scene (so that I can then work out the middle of the scene – the end was already in my mind), I found this poem, which was part of the poem a day month that I did last year. I share it with you now – restored to the fold.

The Pattern

All life is a thread
Growing thicker from beginning to end
Yours is but a single strand of a much larger pattern;
A pattern of great intricacy.

This is the thread of your life.
It starts out so small, but stretches so far.
Naturally, it begins with your parents;
With the meeting of their threads.

The thread is thinnest here.
A tiny cord; fragile,
Easily snapped.

But it holds together
And it grows as you do, as you learn and live.
It is not a straight line, though.
It turns and twists and crosses other threads.

There are knots along the thread
Where you have undergone trials
Or encountered difficulty.
But still it does not break.

Other threads join to yours,
Connecting you to those that you know.
Mystic cords that swell as you know the other person better.

Some wear thin, then fall away.
Fraying ends left untended.
Others are cut by the sharp edge of the distance between you.

A few are cut away accompanied by knots.
You sever them with your own hand,
Like a surgeon with a scalpel,
Removing the dead wood of life.

Yet some you bind to you,
Tied onto your thread with love –
Unions of the soul.

They are marked, and watched,
Repaired when they begin to break,
And they help you to bear the strain
Of the main knots of your life.

Which is a thread.
Growing thicker from beginning to end.
A single strand of a much larger pattern;
A pattern of great intricacy.
The web of life.

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