Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Wednesday musings . . .
One of the favourite things that Todd and I like to do is to watch old television series on the boob tube. We have a few of them on DVD like Little House on the Prairie, Christy, The Waltons . . . Upstairs, Downstairs. We often watch them of an evening. There is just so much garbage on television these days that despite the fact we have Sky television, there is often not a heck of a lot on worth watching, until after 9 o'clock and we both start to turn into pumpkins about that time!!
We love the values these older television shows espouse . . . the importance of family and virtue and all that is good in life. Simple things like love, service, togetherness . . .
We especially love The Waltons and are now watching the series from the beginning again, for about the 3rd or 4th time! Last night we watched the episode in which John Boy has a story he has written that his teacher encourages him to send off to a New York magazine. This is in Series one. He labors over it getting his handwriting just so, but it is returned with a note saying that the magazine doesn't accept hand written manuscripts. John Boy is very saddened by this, not knowing where on earth he could get his hands on a typewriter in their small community, during the Depression. Grandpa takes him up to the Attic and they are going through his trunk and they come across a letter written by the Late Judge Baldwin, which has been typewritten and John boy learns that the Baldwin Sisters, who never get rid of anything that belonged to their father . . . indeed probably have a typewriter. To make a long story short, they lend the typewriter to John boy, and he types his story. He keeps the typewriter hidden in the tool shed as he knows his Baptist mother would never countenance anything from those moon shine making bootleg Baldwin Sisters in her house. Mary Ellen comes across it in an old box and sells it to the junk man . . . and so goes the story. Upset and tumult . . . and a long search for the typewriter, which is eventually found, but at a huge price . . . the silver lining being a lesson in love and family togetherness learned along the way . . .
I can remember wanting to be a writer when I was a girl. I loved and devoured books from the time I could read, and before that my father read often to me from the many books that I had. It is from him that I learned to love books and reading and sometimes when I close my eyes, I can still hear his voice in my head reading my favourite stories to me. It is a wonderful memory.
As a girl I admired anyone who could paint such a picture as a story or a book merely with their words, and I truly wanted to be able to do the same myself. I often could be found tucked away in a corner with a pencil and paper, jotting my thoughts and prose down. I wish now that someone had kept some of these early ministrations of mine . . . but they didn't . . .
I can remember when I was around 9 years old I borrowed a typewriter from a friend, and I wrote a play loosely based on the Avengers television series. It was a children's typewriter of the type which that had the dial on it which you turned manually, single letter by single letter . . . to the letter you wanted to use. It took me forever to type that play out. You had to stop and move the dial for each letter before going on. I am sure that I had feelings much like John Boy Walton must have had when he was typing his story out on the Baldwin Sisters antique typewriter . . . promise and hope springing from my fingertips with every laborious letter punched out. It didn't matter how long it took . . . only that I was writing, and that I felt like a writer when I was doing it.
When I had it all finished, my friends and I practiced and then put the play on for all of the children in the neighborhood . . . our stage being the back of my best friend father's garage, and our curtain a wool blanket strung across the width of the garage on a skipping rope. Her sister made our costumes . . . as she always fancied being a costume or clothes designer. Our audience sat on lawn chairs, purloined and borrowed from all the neighbors. I can still remember the excitement in that old garage. It was dark and it was musty . . . smelling of old tools, toys and lawnmowers.
It did not matter that we were surrounded by garden rakes and shovels, old skates, lawnmowers and tennis rackets . . . in our minds we were playwrights and actors and costume designers, and we had an audience which was hanging on our efforts! Oh how very successful we felt!!! I don't think anything I have ever done since has felt as good as it did to write and produce that little play . . . which probably wasn't very well written or acted out . . . but which meant the world to us, who were presenting it . . . and to our audience that eagerly watched it . . . on both sides, the first experience of "live Theatre." And while the smell of greasepaint was somewhat overshadowed by the smell of oil and gasoline . . . the feelings we had were not all that different from those of any "real life" playwrights and actors . . .
Oh the magic of childhood innocence, imaginations and wonder!! That time when you feel as if you can be anyone you want to be and do anything you want to do . . . before the fear of failure and feelings of self doubt have stolen all that hope away. There is nothing on earth that can be as beautiful, or as pure . . . or as wonderfully, amazingly inspiring.
I never did become a real writer as John Boy Walton did . . . but I have never lost my love of the written word, or the dreams that it inspired and inspires. Being able to read is such a wonderful tool to have. It opens up new worlds and wonders to all who exercise their abilities to do so, and it is probably one of the most singularly important things I ever learned to do in my life. I am so grateful for that, and for a father who taught me to love the written word and all the gifts that it brings.
"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others."
Not a lot on today. I got about 20 prints ready yesterday to put into the Gallery. All have been signed and dates and matted, popped into clear plastic film sealed envelopes . . .with business card judiciously inserted in the back and are ready to go. Today I will get my cards ready and I want to do a few matchbox dolls as well. I am hoping to have it all ready to go before the end of the week. Wish me luck!
I hope each of you are having, or will have, a special, splenderifically wonderful Wednesday! May God be with you every step of the day!
Cooking in the English Kitchen today . . . some scrumptious Crispie Polka Dot Treats, and a fabulous Giveaway in honor of Chocolate Week.