Writing on

Posted on November 2, 2007


Most of my writing is form of place-holding.  A kind of ’something ought to go here’ gesture, so that I can remember – if vaguely – that I need to keep thinking about this.  You try out different things, often half-heartedly.  They are all place-holders, some better than others; some just bad, stupid; some near the mark but apparently far off.  A mere change of word, a reversal of punctuation, adding ‘-ing’ to ‘hello’ or ‘a puts’ finds the path home, life is shaken into it the way a bird might have a dust bath.  Or I think of it as like a tailor cutting a suit sometimes.  You start with a bit of cloth (most of the cloths in my case are rags, cast-offs, bargains from a jumble sale, stuff discovered down at the Red Cross), you toss your cloth on your ironing board, iron it a bit, trim it up, hold it to the light to look at it squint-eyed, reverse it, invert it, think the better of it and toss it in a bin to be looked at later.  In the shadows.

… Later, you start to think on it seriously, you had forgotten it, this thing, so vaguely peculiar, you have thought of a new idea, if it is to be made into any sort of object then the time is now.  Perhaps a section of jacket, a collar.  A gusset.   This square of cambric might make a useful back pocket.  But it all takes effort, a deal of measuring and sewing and unpicking.  Buttons are the worst.  In the meantime, I need offer no apologies for the loose threads, the absence of a lining, the uncut seams, the generally uncouth appearance.  The scarecrow fluff.  It will be very smart in the end.  I hope.

Posted in: Tailoring