Saturday, November 9, 2013
Returning to write
This afternoon we saw a Painted Lady. The butterfly was resting on the pavement, wings closed in the fallen leaves, three thousand miles from home.
It will not survive our winter. They migrate each year from Morocco and only a handful return; we don't know why.
I guess the sighting is what you'd call a writers 'prompt'; a serendipitous find that sparked enough of a notion to get my fingers tapping. In truth, the butterfly might well have come from France - it could be the offspring of a migrant - and for all I know it might make it through to spring. None of this really matters - except that is, for the spark.
Today I returned to Criccieth, meeting friends from a course I tutored last year; the idea was to kick start our writing. It's a long drive and on a strictly time and effort basis it would have been easy to say 'pass'. But then writing (and friendship for that matter) can't be measured in those terms.
We understand writing in much the same way that we understand the life cycle of Painted Ladies. We know about the process, the steps to follow and in what order - but our knowledge of what drives the creative imagination is about as vague as our understanding of why the butterflies return.
For my part, I know only that certain places light the spark.