Day: May 9, 2016

Trying to recapture my childhood

I am currently decluttering my RedBubble Portfolio, to make way for more recent art that best represents who I am now, as well as to make it easier for customers to navigate the available products for sale. As a result I will be sharing some of my old creative writings here on WordPress, as a way of preserving them. In several cases my mind, opinions, beliefs, values and overall understanding of life have changed since the time I wrote these pieces, but I still feel that they are personally valuable reminders of the various stages of my life journey thus far.

This piece of writing was first posted at my RedBubble Creative Writing Portfolio.

Date of original post: 25 April 2010

Total views, at 2 May 2016: 447

 

Trying to recapture my childhood through creativity

What am I trying to create, anyway?

Sometimes it feels as though my creative efforts coalesce and merge into a singular task: to recapture that which brought me a sense of wonder in childhood. Whether it lies in my drawings of fantasy and landscapes that remind me of cherished memories; or my writings that revolve around similar topics; it seems as if I keep finding myself drawn back to the place and atmosphere and experiences of my early childhood.

The weather outside conjures memories from many years ago. I must have been seven or eight years old. Cool breeze, singing blackbirds, autumn colours: and I am back there, somewhere in the late 1980s, and for a brief moment the joy and awe of Nature wells up within me. Then it fades, sadly, and I remember that I am here in this place and time. My childhood slips into the dim recesses of my memory as my thirties loom in the near future. Becoming a mother at a young age has served me well in this regard; being more or less a child when I had my first baby – that is, looking back on it now I see that I was really quite young – I don’t feel that I grew up before motherhood. I see life through the eyes of my children and remember what it was like. The happiness that springs from life’s simple pleasures: a nice meal; the flash of colour from raucous rosellas in a gum tree; the ease of social interaction when everyone was a potential friend; the simple, spiritual, loving, inspiring movements and changes in the seasons; the mystery and depth of church on Easter Saturday; the unadulterated joy of a birthday party; and the excited anticipation of Christmas.

Oh, how I desire to recapture it! I circle it, I crave it, I want to hold on to it. To the past. To a time when my grandparents were still alive. To a time when I lived the gentler lifestyle afforded to country folk. To a time when the whole world seemed a thing to be conquered and subdued and discovered. To a time when it was so simple to believe in God and His immanence. To a time when I could revel in the change from Autumn to Winter. To a time when I lived in a safe little community where everyone knew each other and I could walk my dog and not fear the possibility of unseen dangers.

So, I stalk it in my words. In my art. Even in my dreams, when sleep cradles me, and I see visions in my mind’s eye, I see the old places and people of my disappearing childhood. I do not want to let it go. Not yet. Not when I haven’t captured it, yet.

I circle it, because I feel driven by a need to record it. To express it. To keep it for myself. To share it with others. To share it with my children, in whom the memory of my life and existence shall be carried, and whose own infancy followed in similar paths to mine.

I remember so much. The big green hedge. The playground across the street. Walking to the milk bar to buy lollies. Being able to see my grandparents’ house from the back verandah. Playing with other children who lived on the same laneway. The creepy abandoned house on the next street. The other house, with the fernery and the windchimes. The hilly pathways to kindergarten and the big playground and my grandparents’ place. Going to church, with its familiar white walls and stained glass and artworks – the church where both sets of grandparents were married. It was, in more recent years, where I said my final goodbyes to three of my four grandparents. Then there was the school, the big building and its large grounds, with the footy oval and the large gardens and the convent. It seemed so big to me then; would it look so big if I saw it now? Even earlier was my kindergarten, with the big oak tree that left acorns all over the gravel road on the other side of the fence. Things seemed simpler then. I miss those times.

I miss it. And I try to capture it, over and over again. Parts of it can only be memories from now on. I do not want to lose the memories.

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