Earth Hour  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Earth Hour came again last night, and due to sharing my living space with other people, I asked politely if everyone minded observing the time, which was met with respectful candles in the kitchen. I like to think of the earth as breathing a little sigh of relief when such things occur and hope that in this case observing the hour also raised awareness of how my housemates could contribute more. I used the time to disconnect from electricity and technology. As a teacher, it's rare that I am able to do this for extended periods of time at the moment. And during the hour I wrote, by hand, about a pebble.

I'd been to the beach early on Friday morning on my way into school and gathered a selection of pebbles and shells to use as my lesson for the afternoon. When I presented each child with a pebble and announced that I wanted them to write for 20 minutes, non-stop, about it, I was met with some brilliant Harry Enfield impressions. "Huh! Miss! As IF you could write about that for 20 minutes." "I could write a novel, just about a pebble..." was my reply, which was, predictably received with sniggers and lots of eyebrow activity.

Needless to say, 20 minutes later, half of the class had written over half a page and wanted to carry on, whilst the other half had had great fun throwing pebbles around, conducting 'research' into onomatopoeia.

A novel I have not yet had time to write, but during the blackout, this WIP is what I have so far on pebbles

Its porous surface contains black holes,
filled with secrets seen
over centuries.
On the crest of a ferocious wave
its journey
that of a monarch butterfly.
For some time the pebble rested,
like the corpse of Atlantis,
leagues beneath sight.
It silently
swarming schools weaving
their collective thoughts through
oceanic clefts until they
settled into the fissures;
rewrote topography.
The rhyme of tides echo
into chasms,
which blow out chorales,
spiralling to the shore.
Amid the hieroglyphics
the pebble waited
in turbulence
before committing to the sea
the way a thousand shipwrecks did before it.
The paths etched into its surface;
labyrinthine corridors
of broken dreams,
of messages of love
and stamps
of existence snatched
into the swelling stomach of tsunami.
The stench of seaweed baking in the sun
filters through its crevices
carrying olfactory hallucinations
of days
in times past.
Days when light fragments filter through
its counterparts
casting shadows like the mountains.
Dark days
of lying
in wait underground
like lava tunnels deep
beneath the surface,
fostering evolution.

The Guardian published pictures of the blackout around the world. It's lovely to feel a part of something so big.

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