Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Humour me if you will

A dearth of present inspiration gives birth to re-reading previously constructed writings. Mavis Diamond was conceived about two years ago. I thought she may develop further but she got stuck at around the three-pages mark. This is a little taste. Humour me if you will.

In her childhood, a new year had always been treated with a certain degree of reverence. Mavis’s parents, who were somewhat non-conformist in their thinking, had considered it a time for new beginnings and always instilled in her the sense that she could give to the coming year what ever ‘shape’ she wanted. It was a blank slate and she, the artist. She was the author of her life and, as such, had the power to engineer and facilitate opportunity or, conversely, limit herself by taking an unconscious approach. As a child, this had always seemed to her rather magical. That a person, a child even, could make decisions about the direction their life would take during the coming year, was something altogether remarkable. She understood that it didn’t mean she could have complete control over what happened, her parents had been quite clear about that, but rather that she could make certain things happen if she wanted. From a very young age, Mavis had always treated the matter very seriously.
Near the end of her Standard 6 year, when the following year’s move to high school loomed large in her mind, Mavis began to consider her future career and what subjects she would need to study to prepare for it. Her parents listened as she thought aloud and explored the various paths she might go down. They never steered her in one direction or another, simply opened up each possibility as widely as possible and allowed her to journey through it as she liked. Whether it was teaching or veterinary science, they greeted each option with the same reserved enthusiasm. Mavis soon came to comprehend that, amongst her friends, she and her parents were unique in their approach. She had thought all families were the same.
- What subjects are you taking next year Barbara, Mavis asked her best friend.
- Dunno, book keeping or typing I s’pose, my parents say I’ll be going to secretarial school when I finish school anyway.
- Do you want to be a secretary then?
- Dunno, haven’t really thought about it, s’pose so, all the other girls will be doing commercial subjects.
- So, do you want to be a secretary Barbara?
- Oh I dunno Mavis. Come on, race you to the garden. There might be some new peas ready for picking. Come on.
From that day, Mavis Diamond never took the knowledge, that she could manoeuvre her life, for granted. Other people, she increasingly came to recognise, were rarely apprised of that knowledge and suffered as a consequence, stuck in their boringly conformist and unconscious lives.

Photograph/Epsom Girls Grammar Form 3 1952


Blogger Lulu said...

More, please.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Sigrid Jardin said...

Nicely written, especially the dialog. I'm so surprised to see you posting the wonderful school photograph. I was thinking just this morning about posting my second grade class photo from 1949 or so - it is also a classic (maybe they all are). I must have gotten your "vibe" in the night. What if we'd all had mothers who encouraged us to follow our own dreams - what a concept!?!ffzjsb

3:33 AM  
Blogger adagio said...

sorry lulu, won't promise more. but, thankyou for the encouragement.

sigrid: i was looking online for my mother's school photos. found this - right school, right year, wrong class, unfortunately. but thought it would suit this scrap of writing. yes, subconsciously, i think i was wondering what it might have been like to grow up under that kind of sky.

1:03 PM  

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