Writing practice

Many of us are familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s writing practice in Imitating the Style of the Spectator: “I took some of the tales and turned them into verse.”  Others might also be familiar with the Progymnasmata – exercises that were taught in ancient Greece and Rome to educate students in rhetoric. In both imitation played a role. However, do not despair, this is not a writing class! A mere introduction to my limited writing knowledge.

On rainy days, in moody blues, under clouds of unknown, bolts of writing impulses surface and try to force my hand on paper. I normally ignore the nagging pain the impulses left behind (washing, cooking, cleaning, gardening are quite important activities you know!). Most people of a certain personality type? will say, make an excuse? that they first need to go on a writing course before they can write.  My dad never learned to swim. He was allowed in the water if he could swim. Writing is rather like swimming: sink before you learn to stay afloat, gulp air before you know how to breathe, and wear wings (fins, flappers) if you need help. Using the imitation method of writing compares to wearing fancy wings. After pummeling through my own tunnel of muddy water, I can bask in the sun of a well-known writer. Well, that is the feeling of the inexperienced writer anyway. The reader of the writing might have a different opinion.

Have you tried your hand at writing? What are your feelings about it?  My early writing (which disappeared – not by accident I believe) reflected a soul in pain. If you write, what do you write about? Loose thoughts? Just for your own eyes or do you share? I find it difficult to share my writing with people I know. I think we all know the reason for that one.

Well, for all the Afrikaans readers – here is a raw poem – imitated on Henry David Thoreau’s “I am a parcel of vain strivings tied.”

‘n Pakkie biddende gedagtes tevergeefs geknoop met eie pogings

laat die Meester amper vergete in ‘n bevitte soeke,

‘n Lewenslig sukkel dof-skynend verby opgehewe gewoontes

wat stilte-gapend oophang, uitnodigend – verwytend?

Die vlees boots ‘n refleksie van dit wat mag en nie mag nie,

Eenvoud roep

 

Houdings bondel vasgevang tusen wortels van die ou-self

Klouend verdroog in gister se on-gemak

Beurend uit ‘n wettiese lewe aanhalig uit ‘n droomwêreld,

Onkruid en blom meng, liggies vasgevang met ‘n wasige band

Van stilte wat uitnooi – ‘n geskenk van lewe twee maal,

Eers jy vir jou, dan Hy vir jou

 

Onkruid en blom ontkom ‘n vooruit vernietigende loop

Van reg en verkeerd, van twyfel, van gemak,

‘n Oomblik in die luister-hoor van druppels genade

sodat die bondel biddende gedagtes onttrek van lewe

en stil trek stil in Ewigheid se Tyd – die dag wat Hy gee,

Bars die stilte deur – wagtend vir groei om weer te kom

 

En hier hoor ek die Stem:

Gee aandag, luister na my, julle wat so onbesorg lewe,

Luister na wat ek sê, julle wat so selfversekerd is!

Ek drink die woorde

Reg en verkeerd het my droog gelaat in ‘n leë beker,

Om net vir ‘n kort uur te kon blom

 

 In die nabootsing van lewe verlig ‘n Storie

Botsels groeisels beurend deur donker ongeduld,

Verterende begeertes staan weerloos voor Tyd

wat ewig vrede plek maak vir geregtigheid

‘n Woud lê in vrugbare afwagting,

Vir die lewensgroen van gedrinkte woorde

 

Bondelende gedagtes word sagkens tot lewe geroep

‘n Teer woord, ‘n traan, ‘n kruis neem die leë beker

Na ‘n vreemde plek van saamwees

Deel gedagtes, deel gebede, dwing die oppervlak

Feesvierend oop, bloot – my beker loop oor, 

Sonder skanse sien ek ander en ander my

 

‘n Andersheid van Woord roep Sy kosbaartyd nader

Vind rus in die wag by stille waters

Die Gees asem lewe in ‘n vlees afwagtend vir die nuwe

Blom en vrug te dra,

En ek mag maar tydelik hangend buig in aanbidding

  

Advertisements

your thought is a gift

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s