A friend and I play writing games together. One of us picks a phrase, a subject and we both have to write for say five minutes, or ten, on that phrase or subject. We are not supposed to think, or lift our pen from the page, but just to let our creativity flow unimpeded.
We have had some interesting projects.
‘The day I didn’t call’ was one, I remember, and another, ‘this exquisite wounding’.
A recent one was entitled ‘Frozen’
Just that. Could lead you anywhere.
Here’s what I wrote:
‘Whenever I walk past a statue in some public place, I wonder what was happening to that person before someone froze them forever. Did he or she live out a mostly ordinary life? Was that laudable (obviously) moment in time their only laudable moment in time, or was it all so laudable that we, living out our ordinary lives have to keep being reminded of our ordinariness every time we walk by?
Did his or her feet ever ache in badly made shoes, and were they ever late for school or work or choir practice and did their teeth hurt eating ice cream? Were they kind to others, loving in their homes, humble in opinions? What made them so remarkable? And what would they think of the pigeons who perch on their horizontal bits and shit them white and greasy grey, or the homeless wanderers who slump beneath their lofty limbs?
Sometimes I read the plaque that tells of their achievement, but usually I just march by in my badly made shoes, avoiding pigeon shit and homeless wanderers on my ordinary way from A to B with deadlines in my head and a dirty rain threatening.
In Amsterdam, one moved. A statue, I mean, and I did stop then. Suddenly nothing was ordinary at all and I laughed out loud as the pigeons burst into the sky and an old man on a bench unfolded himself and laughed with me before sinking back down into the folds of his oversized coat’.