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Whatever it takes ... writer's block

Erin sits at her table, pen in hand.

She wonders what might flow forth, what she might channel from the ether through ink into existence, all the hidden worlds lurking just behind her fingertips … if only she could concentrate.

Just as she abandons any pretence of knowing what she’s up to, with the tip of her pen pressed onto paper, her phone rings. Sighing, she sets it all aside and answers, 'Hello?'

It is, of course, an automated sales call. As quickly as she can manage, she hangs up, sighs and retrieves her pen.

But then comes a knock at the door. She goes to check, taking delivery of new clothes that she didn’t really need, trying to remember what she'd actually bought.

That done, Erin takes her seat again. But she can’t quite get comfortable. Moving to the lounge to stretch and roll around does the trick.

It’s been a while since she checked her emails, though, she remembers. She unlocks her phone to take a peek. An hour and seventeen minutes later, according to her screentime, she finally returns to the blank page in front of her.

Erin grits her teeth, and lays down her words as if carving them into stone.

Whatever it takes, she thinks, to get her compulsory ten minutes of writing done.

Copyright: text Matt Jackson; photo Wix.

Whatever it takes ... timewise

Nine-year-old Charlotte looked up at the immense grandfather clock that took pride of place in her grandmother’s sitting room.

The sun, moon and stars painted on the face smiled down as she saw that it was three-fifteen.

The clock's heartbeat was a brass pendulum that gently rocked forward and back inside an enormous walnut cavity.

‘Nanna, if you had an electric clock, you wouldn’t have to wind it up every day,’ Charlotte said, looking through the glass at the pair of tubular weights that were suspended by chains from concealed pulleys.

Her grandmother, Nancy, walked into the sitting room from the kitchen and stood beside her dressed in a frilly pink and white knee-length dress.

‘It’s getting old like me so it depends on someone to keep it going,’ Nancy said.

‘Someone like you, Nanna?’

‘Yes, I have to wind it up every day or it will run down and stop.’

‘Has that ever happened?’ Charlotte asked.

‘Yes, once when I went to the hospital it stopped for a week.’

‘Why did you go to the hospital? Were you very sick?’ Charlotte asked, with a concerned expression on her face.

‘I was, but I had someone to keep me going, so I recovered and here I am,’ Nancy said.

‘Who was that?’ Charlotte asked.

Nancy held out her hand and Charlotte took it as they walked back to the kitchen, Charlotte suppressing her curiosity about why the skin on the back of her grandmother’s hands was so soft and white with such enormous blue veins.

‘That was you. You wound me up and now I’m still ticking along,’ Nancy said.

‘I’d do anything to keep you going, Nanna. I’ll do whatever it takes.’

‘So now you know why I wind up the clock every day. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep it going.’

‘What does it take, Nanna?’ Charlotte asked.

‘It takes time,’ Nancy replied.

Copyright: text Robert Carrick; photo Wix.



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