Creative writing and drawing #5: Departure
To celebrate the release of The Wattle Tree this month, author John Bell and I have been doing a series of creative exercises. Each day, we spent half an hour responding to a theme. Today’s theme is “Departure”. Here is my response:
And here is John’s response:
I can imagine living almost anywhere.
Whenever we travel, I subject Ben to these fantasies: looking longingly into other people’s front yards, pouncing on houses open for inspection. The boundaries of my own life seem makeshift at these times: that with a little wriggling I could be living another life in another town, that I could slip from life to life as easily as someone walking between rooms.
How many lives will this life contain? How many lives will I leave?
Of course, you return to your primary life; its contours firm up, you fit back in, a moving part in a routine, and that life begins to seem definitive. You forget the choices you made to make it, and the reasons why you made them. It seems inevitable simply because it is, this machinery that fits you so snugly.
You forget the warren of possibilities that fan out around you. You forget that you can leave.