GreenishLady

Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: Another time in history

This week at Sunday Scribblings, the prompt runs: If I had to live at a different time in history... Here's one of those imagination games that I find so much fun. The exercise this week is to decide what era in history you would choose to live in if you couldn't live now. Not just when, but why? While you're at it, how about where? What do you imagine life would be like?

Ah... After a conversation with my dear pal Nancy last night, I realise, if I could really choose, my heart right now says "Forget Cleapatra, forget Shakespeare. Even forget the thought of being in the Holy Land in the early years of the 2oth century, when you might have gotten to sit in the presence of Abdu'l-Baha, and hear him speak..." All my heart longs for, the time past that I would love to return to, to witness, would be to be able to sit on the steps of the Gaelic League Hall in Limerick, some December day in the mid-1960's, and wait quietly until a mother and daughter came by, just to watch and witness that morning.

It's the memory of my mother that is most present with me these days. A memory of an outing that was just her and me. Of her five children, that day, somehow, I became the one who was brought along to an art exhibition. I don't remember if she told me what to expect, or if she just allowed me to witness the art, as it was displayed and as it was made, but the lasting impression was deep and strong. The artists were mouth- and foot-painting artists, and not only was their work on show, but many were also creating beautiful, intricate pictures with paintbrushes clamped between their teeth or held between their toes. That anyone could make such wonderful pictures impressed me hugely. (I was, at that stage in my young life, probably still struggling in my after-school art classes with Mr. Clifford, producing art in which adults had major difficulty identifying whether the animal on the wall was a cat or a mouse!) That people who did not have the use of their arms or hands could do this was, to me, miraculous, and to be allowed to witness that was very special.

If I could be there now, as an adult, leaning against the wall, watching, I'd love to see the expression on that 7-or-8-year-old's face. I'd love to hear her awed whispers to her mother. I wish now that I could see that mother's face, and hear what her responses were.

I have no recollection of what was said. I have an impression of the magic of the experience. We didn't go out to see art very often. That's the only time that I recall from my childhood. I have a sense that it was a cold day. I imagine I was in a buttoned-up wool coat and a knitted hat. I'm sure I'd have been wearing thick woollen tights and round-toed shoes. I can feel what my mother's hand would have felt like holding my own mittened hand as we left the hall, with me skipping down the steps, as we headed up Thomas Street, or out to William Street, to wait in the chill wind for the bus home.

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I realise that I've gone and "cheated" on the prompt again, but there's a part of me that's not able to go big right now, that wants to stay with the little thought, the little memory. I've been staying away from the blog recently. in great part because I've nothing much that I feel I can say or write, but there are little things I can share, and I will be doing that, as the mood strikes.

Blessings to you all, my friends.



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Go travel back in time to some real historical situations with other Sunday Scribblers HERE

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17 Comments:

At 11/10/08 3:48 pm, Blogger Alexander M Zoltai said...

You didn't cheat on the prompt (it was only a prompt, after all...). You used it to trigger some beautiful and heart-touching creativity.

You are a very good writer...

~ Alex from Our Evolution

 
At 11/10/08 9:20 pm, Blogger Linda Jacobs said...

I agree! What beautiful memories!

 
At 12/10/08 9:34 am, Blogger Caroline said...

I agree too!

You've made it very personal.

 
At 12/10/08 10:08 am, Anonymous tinker said...

I think it was Mother Theresa who said, "There are no great things, only small things with great love." In which case, this post is filled with greatness, Imelda. Blessings to you, too~xo

 
At 12/10/08 10:44 am, Blogger anthonynorth said...

I think you encapsulated what the prompt was about. There is no more important history than your own.

 
At 12/10/08 11:48 am, Blogger Robin said...

What a beautiful and special memory, and a wonderful take on the prompt.

 
At 12/10/08 2:10 pm, Blogger B. Roan said...

This sounds like the perfect time to me. Lovely post. BJ

 
At 12/10/08 2:33 pm, Blogger lila said...

Imelda, your writing and your memories are a gift. Thanks for sharing.

 
At 12/10/08 7:39 pm, Blogger Tammy said...

I love what you did with the prompt. It was a beautiful moment in time for you. Thank you for sharing this memory Imelda. HUG

 
At 13/10/08 2:28 am, Blogger tumblewords said...

Absolutely lovely! Absolutely! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful memory!

 
At 13/10/08 2:04 pm, Blogger Amberchlopaz said...

This makes me want to be seven or eight, or maybe even nine, and going somewhere, hand in hand, with my mommy too. Joyce

 
At 14/10/08 9:31 pm, Anonymous artmusedogs said...

I couldn't help but respond because I have been thinking alot about my deceased Mom and my childhood ~ what happens it that suddenly out of no where I get this feeling ~ to call my Mom and tell her about something that happened and of course, I can't call in the traditional way ~ She is no longer on this planet ~ I think at those times she certainly must be very close by me and "watching over me" ~ namaste, artmusedogs

 
At 15/10/08 6:16 pm, Blogger Rick Hamrick said...

Thanks, Imelda, for this clear word portrait of a day long ago which still means so much to you.

 
At 17/10/08 12:43 am, Blogger Nita Jo said...

I love what you shared! I had planned to write along a similar line, but life got too busy. Maybe later on. I would love to have gone back to the early sixties... to see my mom and grandma as an adult observer...
Great job!

 
At 18/10/08 6:29 pm, Anonymous robin bird said...

this memory is one i enjoyed reading so very much. the way you describe the thing with just a hint of recollection but a strong feeling of remembrance is real and recognizable to anyone who has lost a mother. it sounds like a waking dream. i know you miss your mother. of course you do.

i miss mine too. i have this small photograph of her at the age of 20. she is holding me on her lap. i am a baby looking like an owl :) but she is smiling and looks beautiful with her black hair and bright eyes. i adore that one photo because it elicits memories that are long lost from my mind but remembered by my flesh.

Argentina..... very good imelda! very good :) i cannot tell how much your generosity means to me. my mother's side is 100% Irish and i have the feeling in my blood that i could fall in love with my ancestral homeland. it feels good to know you are there and welcoming. truly. truly heart warming.

 
At 20/10/08 4:42 am, Blogger Amber said...

What a lovely "cheat", anyway.

:)

 
At 7/11/08 6:19 am, Blogger Dia said...

Mmm,
What a beautiful memory -
My daugher & I also share one of those 'sunny day' images from when she was 7 or 8; we were lying in the side yard (very narrow) under the clothesline, & I was reading to her. The boys (son & husb) were off somewhere; every time I thought of going inside to do something practical, she'd say 'couldn't you read one more chapter, . . . of course, I did.
That sunny day memory stands out for both of us, & of course, the 'practical' day I had envisioned would have been lost!

 

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