Hello! I’m back! My sax exam went pretty well, I was really happy with my pieces and generally happy with scales and other technical work. My examiner was very very nice and I felt relaxed and calm for most of the exam. Thank you everyone who sent me well wishes and other little notes of love : )
Now I can take a big breathe out…
I thought I’d share with you a quick story from ‘Tales From Outer Suburbia’ by Shaun Tan. Here goes!
Have you ever wondered what happens to all the poems people write? the poems they never let anyone read? … perhaps they are too private and personal, perhaps they are just not good enough, perhaps the prospect of such a heartfelt expression being seem as clumsy, shallow, silly, pretentious, saccharine, unoriginal, sentimental, trite, boring, overwrought, obscure, point or simply embarrassing, is enough to give any aspiring poet good reason to hide their work from public view forever.
Naturally many poems are immediately destroyed, burnt, shredded, flushed away, occasionally they are folded into little squares and wedged under the corner of unstable pieces of furniture. Other are hidden behind a loose brick, or drainpipe or sealed into the back of an old alarm clock, or put between the pages of an obscure book that is unlikely to ever be opened. Someone might find them one day, but probably not. The truth is that unread poetry will almost always be just that. Doomed to join a vast, invisible river of waste that flows out of suburbia. Almost always.
On rare occasions, some especially insistent pieces of writing will escape into a backyard or a laneway, be blown along a roadside embankment and finally come to rest in a shopping centre car park. As so many things do…it is here that something quite remarkable takes place. Two or more pieces of poetry drift towards each other through a strange force of attraction unknown to science and ever so slowly cling together to form a tiny shapeless ball.
Such a ball creeps through the streets like a tumble weed for months, even years. If it only comes out at night it has a good chance or surviving traffic and children and through a slow rolling motion avoids snails (its number one predator). At a certain size, it instinctively shelters from bad weather, unnoticed. but otherwise roams the streets, searching for scraps of forgotten thought and feeling. Given time and luck the poetry ball becomes large, huge, ENOURMOUS. A vast accumulation of papery bits that ultimately takes to the air, levitating by the sheer force of so much unspoken emotion. It floats gently above suburban rooftops when everybody is asleep inspiring lonely dogs to bark in the middle of the night.
(picture above actually from book)
Sadly a big ball of paper no matter how large and buoyant, is still a fragile thing. Sooner or later it will be surprised by a sudden gust of wind, beaten by driving rain and reduced in a matter
of minutes to
One morning everyone will wake up to find a pulpy mess covering front lawns, clogging up gutters and plastering car windscreens. Traffic will be delayed, children delighted, adults baffled unable to figure out where it all came from. Stranger still will be the discovery that every lump of wet paper contains various faded words pressed into accidental verse. Barely visible, but undeniably present, to each reader they will whisper something different. Some joyful, something sad, truthful, absurd, hilarious, profound and perfect. No one will be able to explain the strange feeling of weightlessness or the private smile that reminds long after the street sweepers have come and gone.
images credits: first photo of breath by my lovely cousin clarice bean. see more of her work HERE, and all the rest from here and as always weheartit.com, thank you. And the biggest thank you to Shaun Tan, the amazing Australian writer and illustrator! :)