One of my favourite, earliest memories is of me tucked into the side of a slightly damp riverbank under the root of a pine tree, the sun pouring down through the leaves and sparkling off the water as I carefully wrote in a small school notebook my first play.
I can’t remember what it was about, except that it involved a man and a woman. Regretfully, the notebook went missing years ago, despite my attempts to keep it safe, and I still miss it.
I had hidden myself away from the hectic bustle of my family on a camping trip. The water moved slowly, birds sang occasionally, it was warm and drowsy, and I felt inspired. There was no reason to write, no homework assignment or contest or carrot dangling for any reason. I loved the quiet encouragement of this natural environment and responded simply to the impetus to create.
After a certain while, I felt I had been away too long. Not wanting an outside intrusion to spoil my solitary happiness, I packed up my stuff and returned to the campsite,
I wonder now how it was that I knew to bring along the notebook. I usually don’t remember myself as a writer, but this treasured moment implies that I wanted to use words from a fairly young age. I remember feeling very satisfied and adult (which was always a goal of mine then) with my notebook filled with a story. I also remember that I never returned to it to add more. I’m not sure if I completed the play. I don’t think I did. But I never again felt that special combination of time and place to allow myself to say something outside the routine of school.
I wonder now why I chose a play. Perhaps I thought my brothers and sisters might help me act it out. Maybe I had just finished reading… oh yes, now I remember. I know I went through a period of reading compilations of plays borrowed from the library.
It’s interesting how vague one’s own life can become when trying to pin down facts.
So. I don’t know how old I was when by the riverbank I wrote the play, nor how close to that event I was when in my play-reading period, but I would guess the two are related. Because the memory is still so vivid, I wonder if it shows me a serious interest I should follow? I’ve experienced many happy moments which have not remained so warm and clear in my imagination. Perhaps I should try writing another play?
#memory #playwright #writing #happiness #autobiography