Monday, December 14, 2009

leaf, playroom, goose


Posted by PicasaLeaf with script.
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Through a basement window I catch sight of a child's playroom. On a table is a toy fort or castle. I had one as a child and always considered it inadequate and not worth defending with what few soldiers I had. Since then I have always thought "fort" a silly word although I know that forts did exist in the real world. Still the sight of the play room with the fort and other toys scattered on the floor opened a portfolio of bitter sweet memories. Why bitter sweet? I can't remember, but my childhood, though far from unhappy, is streaked with strata of disappointments.
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In one of the innumerable newspaper articles anticipating the approaching festival is a photograph of a goose. Its neck is stretched up almost vertically towards heaven and its head proudly announces its preeminence among birds - little does it know that its fat will soon used to roast potatoes. As is my custom, when I see a photo of something that appeals to me, I make 20 second drawing of it in my notebook. The drawing doesn't look much like the goose in the photograph, but it has a pleasing goosiness all of its own, plus an expression suggesting apprehension and doubt entirely missing from the photograph.

5 comments:

marja-leena said...

Love that photo!

Hmm, 'strata of disappointments' sounds like a line for a poem - something to save in the notebook for future use along with the goose sketch.

Barrett Bonden said...

Since they were made of wood, forts were one of the few new toys available for children during the war. Worthy of a William Trevor short story: a man who spent the war making children's toy forts. Another WW2 toy: a fighter plane of no discernible identity very poorly moulded in lead.

Lucy said...

Reflecting on forts, perhaps one of the unpromising things about them would be their containment, they couldn't easily be rearranged or extended and added to very easily, unlike a farm, say, or model of a town or village. We had one around, I seem to remember, but neither my brother or I ever played with it much, it seemed a rather dreary and uninteresting thing. This wasn't just because I was a girl, as I was partial to lego and red toy buses, and loathed dolls.

Funny how live geese are frequent symbols of Christmas, while live turkeys are somewhat avoided.

Plutarch said...

It was the squareness and emptiness of those toys I suppose that made them so unattractive. The best forts now I come to think of it were real mounds or hillocks or corners of a field, which as small boys we defended against gangs of other small boys. An early imperative based on territory.

Geese are I suppose older Christmas fare than turkeys. Pepys notes having eaten a turkey, but goose remained the Christmas bird right through the 19th Century.

The Crow said...

I like your use of the word 'goosiness,' which makes me giggle, though I don't know why.

I love words that tickle my fancy like that. A moment of sheer happiness invades the brain upon sight of them.

:)