Thursday, 29 September 2011

Old Chestnuts

          I can hardly believe it – here I am in shorts and t-shirt sitting out on the deck basking in brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures with my Earl Grey tea,  serenaded by the chirping of birds and insects, the rustling of squirrels and chipmunks, the occasional barking dog and a car going by every now and then.  Oh, if I could just bottle this day for re-release on some bleak November weekend raw with rain and wind!  The hummingbirds have left for the south, but the chickadees and blue jays are enjoying the re-stocked feeders as are the two mourning doves, (aka Schultz and Dooley).  And there are those damn stink bugs!  Even Sophie, our dog, runs away from those beasties.  Still it is a fabulous treat to be out here today – and WRITING!  Profusely writing.

          I’ve recently been re-introduced to the irksome phenomenon of writer’s block.  It came as quite a shock to my system when suddenly words did not flow wonderfully out the end of my pen to be gratefully absorbed onto crisp white paper.  This writing thing had been going so well of late.  Words floated effortlessly onto the page, cohesive thoughts upwelling wondrously through my fingers at that first writer’s class.  Such words and thoughts just as wondrously dried up at my next class, leaving little more than an upwelling of frustration and guilt.  Here’s how it went down.

BLANK!  Something as a child I wanted to understand, eh? Hmmm.  I can’t find anything. <pause> I got nothing.  Instead I’m getting rather upset that I can’t remember anything specific....  Okay, now I’m worrying about memory loss!  You know, I’m really not impressed with all these hazards of aging.  In fact some days they really frighten me. ... Wait a minute!  I’m supposed to be writing about a childhood memory, in a child’s voice.

<more dead air>  Still nothing.  I’m not really a writer.  I mean, how can I be?  Damn it!  I’m going to flunk this class!  No, that’s irrational -- get a grip!  I can’t fail the class – there are no marks.  Phew! I’m glad I remembered that at least.  I am getting more and more pissed off which makes it less and less likely that I’ll come up with anything inspired. 

This is stupid!  I could just rebel you know, and get in touch with the inner child, the disobedient one. Ohhhh, I like that idea.  I’ll just write about the three chestnuts I found in wine country the other day, one of which is still in my pocket. 

© matka_Wariatka -
I love finding horse chestnuts in the Fall.  It’s a real thrill to pry open the thick spiny green shell -- a bit like opening a gift wrapped present. There is such an anticipation of delight.  My recent finds are no exception.  The outer shell gives way to reveal a gorgeous nugget of deep red brown roundness with a creamy top.  It reminds me of a perfect espresso with a crema top.  The delicate swirls of pattern invite my thumb to trace the contours over smooth shiny curves.   Fifty years melt away...

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