making of…Eve and All Our Grandmothers

I’ve had the good news that my Grants for the Arts application has been successful! Which means that I am now working on Eve and All Our Grandmothers and with a group from Words Aloud on collaborative memoir.

Things I know about the process:

  1. it will include writing time
  2. it will include thinking time
  3. I won’t know what it is until I’ve done both 1 and 2

For now I’m going to go down memory lane and write a lot of stories about my memories of Nan.  The basis for this as a show is her hidden spiritual adventures contrasted with her ‘ordinary’ life.  Is anyone’s life ever truly ordinary?

Before she died at 98, Eve said to me that she had always wanted to be a successful artist but that maybe her life was the Art, that any act of creativity, living, making her garden, was the Art and painting part of that, but not the be all and end all.  How do we make our lives an Art?

She always had a biscuit tin full of fairy cakes and sneaky chocolate that she ‘shouldn’t have really’.

She greeted you at the door with a poem, she recited many of those and music hall songs. This is one I remember clearly, but I’m sure it was longer, maybe it was so clear in my mind that I thought it went on for hours. How memory changes in the telling!

Baby Seed Song, by Edith Nesbit, 1858-1924

Little brown seed, oh! little brown brother,
Are you awake in the dark?
Here we lie cosily, close to each other:
Hark to the song of the lark
“Waken!” the lark says, “waken and dress you;
Put on your green coats and gay,
Blue sky will shine on you, sunshine caress you
Waken! ’tis morning ’tis May!”
Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,
What kind of a flower will you be?
I’ll be a poppy all white, like my mother;
Do be a poppy like me.
What! You’re a sunflower! How I shall miss you
When you’re grown golden and high!
But I shall send all the bees up to kiss you;
Little brown brother, good-bye

At the moment this process is a little brown seed. Let’s see what it grows into.