Stranger things

Deciding to do this residency was partly inspired by a friend-in-words, Sarah, who had the smarts to ask her boss if she could take four consecutive Fridays off work so she could dedicate some time to her latest writing project. The plan resulted in Sarah finishing great slabs of her novel-in-progress, and getting a significant way down her writer’s pathway. Obviously not all workplaces are going to support such an idea. But the fact that she put it out there shows some pizzazz, yes? And I must add, Sarah’s stick-ability to the plan is impressive – I suspect I could be all too easily distracted by the antics of our chickens out in the back yard. However, I wouldn’t be the first to write chicken-inspired poetry…

At any rate, here I am in a poetry residency supported by the fine folks at Australian Poetry and The Bean Barn. From June to October I have a constant poetry seat. And yes, it is by a window (and all the coffee I can drink). So the reality may seem odd: setting aside Saturday afternoons purely to write/read/talk poetry has not yet resulted in any writing on the actual day. Talking, sure. Conveniently, several friends have discovered that they can find me here at this time, and I’m not about to send them away. So does this mean the residency is failing?

Nope. The writing has been happening BETWEEN Saturdays. It looks like the idea of having a dedicated time and space has created more time and space (something like dark matter?) Who’d have thought? It’s the experience of having a puzzle to solve and several days later the solution simply materialises, without you having consciously worked on it. Or so you thought. Plant an idea and watch it grow. Sprong.

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