Small Rebellious Acts of Creativity #sraoc is a weekly invitation to explore a word, or a phrase, through whichever creative avenue, platform or modality the participant wishes. It is intended to be a philosophical or creative catalyst moreso than a straight up writing prompt.
I began with home as an acronym, googling to find a computer term for something beginning with ‘e’ and worked from there. I wanted to splice stills of The Wizard of Oz (there’s no place like home) with photos of the houses I had lived in as a kid but that came to a messy end on the very first day when I was unable to find a photo of one of the houses. What is mashed into Dorothy are interior shots from our home in Cairns which I accessed online. I lived there from Jan 1989 – Feb 1990. The house was fortuitously vacant when they were taken.
I have aphantasia and have no visual recall. I have long said that my memories are more like a data log or a ship’s log. In the future this might be how I find my way home.
PLEASE NOTE: each slide is set to 25 seconds and you may need to pause to get through all the words.
I’m coming off the back end of a rather tumultuous week, one that has left me drained physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, and the prompt was a glossolalia throughout.
Towards the end of the week when things had settled down a little, I tapped into small acts of creativity unrelated to the prompt. However, on reflection, each of the acts of creativity were echoes of what it is I want to be doing, and being. Writing, drawing, playing drums; all of these are physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually fulfilling for me. Even five minutes sitting down at my drum set to play simple rudiments (single strokes RLRL RLRL, double strokes RRLL RRLL or paradiddles RLRR LRLL) can be a meditation, a prayer, a solemn act of recognising myself and my spirituality in regards to creativity.
This is the way home.
A few days after my mother died in May 2007, I missed the powerful words of Georgia Heard, our keynote that I had scheduled for one of my conferences on creative nonfiction. Her book, Writing Toward Home, had made such a profound difference in my life, and in the lives of my students (I still use the book today in my university courses in writing).
The irony was not lost on me that day.
Since then, the concept of “home” has always been important to me, returning to the origins of who we are.
A few days ago, I stopped by the cemetery in a moment of wandering and wondering.
Writing this poem afterward helped me rediscover the way home….
The mud just dried on my tired black shoes,
Scuffed from the bustle of life that has carried me far from home.
My retreads are flat, and yet the mud still clings to the worn lines that define
My weary travels.
I brush the sole and wipe away the dirt,
Thinking of simpler days, where
The What-ifs were enough,
Hour upon hour on the water
Cherishing the subtle ripples of origins unknown.
Now Here: I step over the deep tracks in the mud,
Holes in the ground freshly dug
As I seek out the graves
Of my dead dad and mom.
Is this the way home?
To stand on the turned soil
That sealed their graves
And Meditate on the mortality
Of a life half-lived?
I gather and roll the dirt in my hands
Mold a maleable pebble
Warm to the touch.
But ask me to mold this life
Into any simplistic variation of the past,
And the dirt dries,
A powder sifting through my fingers
As quickly as my sands fall in this life’s hourglass.
The undertaker appears and asks if I have lost my way.
He is warm, maleable, a shapeshifter with the dirt.
A simple nod from me, and he will lead me to their home.
But not my own.
I cannot find my way there by way of grave
Or by pictures’ past.
In this present moment,
Wondering what’s next, yearning for what was,
I think I am lost,
But I am home.
In the moment I am always