Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Joy and the Responsibilities that Come With It

This Christmas I received a totally original gift from Middle Daughter (MD) that is funny, endearing, sweet, and original. She gave me a “First Aid Box for Brain Block”. And in that box she put snippets of phrases and photos for me to pull for writing prompts when all other inspiration fails.

The rules are rigid. I desperately want to rummage through the full contents of the box, but I’m only allowed to pull one paper at a time and I must complete that assignment before I can pull another.

So now I am on a writing marathon. So much to write before the box runs dry. In the meantime, I pulled a phrase from the box when I unwrapped it on Christmas morning and until I get past that assignment, I am not allowed to go on to another.

And so my prompt for today’s blog is…

‘Who cares’, I thought, ‘it isn’t as if …’

Who cares, I thought, it isn’t as if all the joys of the Season stem from the standard things that always march to the front of the line, Fa-la-la, to claim responsibility.

The sapphire winter skies delicately diffused with ice fog. Or the fresh snow all tinted with silver and pastel blue. Or the repertoire of all those beloved Christmas carols that have endured throughout the ages. It’s not as if it is the traditional afternoon Scrabble game accompanied by bubbly wine and a tasty snack of smoked oysters and crackers. Or all the gifts to be found under the tree wrapped in gold ribbon and lavender haze.

It’s not even the sweet, nutty-taste of turkey, stuffing, Christmas Pudding, or the hot rum sauce to glaze it. And it most certainly is not chests or nuts roasting by an open fire while we toast the holidays in the company of Royalty – like me and Good King Winston looking out for the last time at the Feast of Stephen.

So you may well ask, ‘What is it, then, for goodness sake, that stimulates the real joy?’

I am so pleased I can finally tell you. After so many Christmas seasons, only now, in this moment with weakening memory and palsied imagination do I finally know. It is a tiny little box with a tiny little latch that offers mysterious, unexpected surprises, each time I open it.

And so, the writing marathon begins and I’m fair giddy with joy as I anxiously await the next opportunity to open my next ‘prompt’ from my special surprise box. Everyone as surprising as the one before because MD has a sense of humor that makes it impossible to forecast what the next prompt might be.


Dick said...

What a brilliant gift, Roberta. There are commercial possibilities here too. Amongst tired bloggers, there must be a small but hungry market!

CodeNameNora said...

Yes, a very thoughtful gift from MD. We all need prompts to write. I inadvertently got one yesterday that seems powerful to me. As I do at the end of every year, I think I need to "clean out stuff." I came upon a journal I kept 27 years ago when I dropped out to rural Vermont. There are some gems in it of beautiful nature description but the burden of my entire journal is caterwauling about my writing difficulties! I quickly grew bored with myself reading it. If I had used those self-pitying words to write objectively, I could have produced a novel or two! So that is my prompt for today.

Cowtown Pattie said...

Oh! Terrific gift! Must copy!

Roberta - tried to email you, can't find a link...purposeful?

On reading books old and new, do you subscribe to the Writer's Almanac? (Can be found on the Prairie Home Companion website. You get them daily in your inbox. Sort of like your gift from the creative and sweet MD!)

Roberta S said...

dick, a brilliant thought there. But all our bunch are "philanthropists" (if that word means what I take it to mean -- than we do what we do for a giggle and a laugh, rather than for any economic benefits) and procrastinators so I guess it's an idea that is unlikely to ever get off the ground.

Still your comment is taken as a warm complement.

Roberta S said...

Hi nora. Pleased you came to visit. My old journals are pretty much loaded with self-pity about everything, but still no regrets. That was how I cleansed the chaff to make each day better than it might have been otherwise.

And like you, maybe if I had been more positive I'd have more worthwhile "stuff" but I'm okay with what I did at the time because it made daily living more worthwhile and that seems like a better perspective on priorities.

Roberta S said...

Hi cowtown pattie. I did take my e-mail link off my profile page to reduce the spam assuming that when I comment on a blog, my e-mail will also be recorded. If you do still want to send a note, you can e-mail me at ms_Roberta2003@yahoo.ca.

MD is always sending me info about 'writing' competitions and the like but I tend to file the info and never go back to it. I guess truth is I write mostly for my own enjoyment and to correspond with my funny blogging friends rather than to become renowned or famous.

sharryb said...

Cool gift. Creative child. And inspiration! You are truly blessed. 2008 is just waiting for all that prompted prose and poetry. And so are we, your readers. Just found your blog through Fried Okra Productions.

Happy New Year!

Roberta S said...

Hi sharryb. Pleased to have you visit and thanks for your kind comment. I do hope you will stop by again soon.