The Mists of Writing while Walking the Boundaries.

Mama the policeman will have something to say about that. acold-walk-009

Every photograph, though taken on the same day, has slightly different light and is viewed differently by each reader. This is why every writer has something viable to say. acold-walk-003

Some might say: Mama you are looking fat. Others might think she is looking a little bit pregnant, an oxymoron  – to be a ‘little bit’ pregnantacold-walk-011

My mother, who was not fat, always wore red lipstick and heels every time she went out,  even if it was just to the shops. In fact, towards the end, one of her good friends said to me that she could tell Mary was really sick because she had stopped wearing  lipstick. Mum  wore perfume sprayed from a crystal decanter that she kept on her low oak dressing table. She once laughed about an actress who would spray a mist of bright perfume into the air ahead of her and then step into it allowing the scents to envelop  and drift down onto her person at will. My mother did not like to be too heavily scented you see. So she would spray just a little behind her ears, into her soft curls and the aroma of my mother, combined with the drifts of sea spray from just beyond the front gate, would linger there for hours. When she got home and said goodnight with a hug,  and her hugs were always quick and to the point – her lipstick still firmly in place, we could smell that mingle of scents in her throat.

nrHatch has thrown down a very gentle challenge. She is hosting a writing competition.  The prize is the book A Writers Desk. But more importantly she asks us to write a little about our desk and our writing methods to enter the competition.  This is what I was thinking about as I followed the footsteps of a light coyote with a heavy left back paw around the boundary of the farmy. Now, here is my entry for the competition.

Thing One approves of course. acold-walk-023

For me – writing is a little like that long forgotton actress’s footsteps as she moves into droplets of  perfume scented air.  I  hear her light step as I spray the mist of another world into the air before me and then I walk straight in, and I am gone there. The scents and stories settle around me and cling to my skin. The characters lurk about the desk, sitting on old books and sniffing at empty, long stemmed glasses. I sit at our desk for a while. Then I write. 


Chomping on consonants and sipping at vowels I was, as I walked the boundaries in the biting cold. acold-walk-032

Then the  light changed.

Good morning. Thank you for yesterdays comments, I have ordered my long silk drawers and  have even ordered a pair for John.  When I present them to him I am going to call them Tights, just to see the look of horror on his face! Why are they called Long Johns anyway. I guess Johns being underwear, but why are undies called Johns?

Have a lovely, lovely day.


83 Comments on “The Mists of Writing while Walking the Boundaries.

  1. A long john, also known as long underwear, is a style of two-piece underwear with long sleeves and long legs that is usually worn during cold weather. The company John Smedley Mills who have a 225 year heritage created the long johns and named them after the boxer John L. Sullivan who wore the long johns in all his matches.

    Most of the other sites I looked at said there wasn’r any real explanation, then I found the quote above on ASK. So, are you telling us Mama is pregnant? Good luck with the competition. Laura

    • Thank you for the info.. now we know.. Mama should be pregnant, hard to tell for a few months.. I need to find out where I can get her a scan so that we will know for sure! that would be fun.. c

  2. see for a possible explanation of the term Long John’s
    And re yesterday’s cold: wool, wool, and wool, plus trousers, jackets, and gloves with Thinsulate™ or those garments made of down; or put duck/goose down outer clothes over the top of it all for the total Michelin Man look. :-)) Snug

  3. Love your analogy, Cecilia . . . writers wading into droplets of inspiration to see what waits. 😀

    Enjoyed all the scenes from the farm. Thanks!

    • Thank you and welcome to the farmy! The farmy is my desk actually, I have a notebook in my jacket pocket! Have a lovely day Ms Hatch! c

  4. I love everything about your beautiful post this morning, but especially how you’ve captured the essence of your mother in her perfume (pun intended) also the image of the perfume spray. “I hear her light step as I spray the mist of another world into the air before me and then I walk straight in, and I am gone there.” Yes!
    I’m betting that all of John’s doubts and suspicions will evaporate the minute he has the “tights” on under everything else and steps out into the cold! I know you probably prefer natural fibers, but the polypropylene stuff that keeps my husband warm all winter works really well, and I understand it is made from recycled materials, which helps somewhat…Have a wonderful day! Cold here too, only 3F this morning! Woodstove stoked with ash logs working overtime…

  5. Beautiful winter light in your photos today. My mum applied perfume in pretty much the same way (Coty L’Aimant) and her advice to me was, “A perfume should whisper, not shout”. We sometimes get guests with VERY ‘loud’ perfume and when they leave it’s really difficult to get rid of it. One of my pet hates!

  6. Your photos do indeed have the chilled air about them, even the sky looks cold and crisp. It’s a very grey day today in Toronto with light bouts of snow casually falling; they will deceive us because by the end of the day they will have accumulated to a shovel-able amount on the driveway and walkways to the house. Sigh, only 4 more months….
    Do take a photo of John’s face when you tell him they are tights.

    • Our snow is just going to sit in the sub freezing temps being idle, I would not mind if more fell.. you have a long time to go, by march we will be thinking about thawing.. a little.. i hope.. fingers crossed.. morning eva.. c

  7. It is always interesting how these words come to us. From whence? Sometimes they glide in with ease. Sometimes they struggle to climb a mountain into our brains. Good day to you, C.

  8. Quite the desk–walking and writing do go together. I thought of my mother’s lipstick (“Deep Carnation”) and perfume too–from a crystal bottle.

  9. What lovely memories to share about your dear mum. Very nice connection to the writing process, too. We do get our inspirations from so many different and sometimes really wonderful memories. I hope the long johns will be very helpful! The daily view makes me a little chilly just looking at it! 🙂

  10. Of all our senses the one that invokes the strongest recall of memories is the sense of smell. Your description of a writing desk is really quite wonderful, and absolutely to the point. Writers do spray a mist than walk into another world. Celia you say it so beautifully. V.

  11. Such a pleasure it is to read your words and see your views. Good day, C!

  12. Good evening, c. Beautifully written post. I will forever remember it whenever I spray perfume or find my way through a veil of words.

    • We know we are good daughters when we miss our Mums, hope you are keeping inside where you are warm.. c

  13. As you wrote: each of us sees your story just a little differently! The blue tinge on the snow charmed me this morning . . . and my mother too used perfume in exactly the same way . . . she was forever stuck on Chanel #5 . . . . and tho’ I am totally a doggie person, I really have fallen in love with your cats: little poseurs that they are 🙂 !

  14. Oh Celi, I love reading about your Mom. Such a very special person she was indeed!!! After all, she had you! And you are very special!!! Now I’m wondering if you were able to see you Dad in NZ? I don’t remember reading about it while you were there. I love the story of him building the boat in the kitchen while your Mum was away! xoxoxo

    • No I did not get to see dad, he was busy selling his house and he lives on another island, but there is a family wedding coming up so I will see him then.. c

      • So he is on the South Island? We LOVED traveling and camping there!!! We thought it incredible that we could stop and camp where ever we wanted without having to pass through park rangers or pay booths or anything!!! We actually went to a park headquarter to ask about camping and they said, “Camp where ever you want.” We were astounded!!! So cool!!! So glad you’ll be able to connect with your dadsoon!! xo

    • Thank you so much Mary, I am so honoured, awards are always so kind even though I honestly do not have the time to play. but i am still very grateful. c

  15. Your contest entry is a beautiful piece of writing, Celi, and your photos quite nice, too. The Sun, riding so low in the South, does give some spectacular light — when it shines. It just doesn’t shine anywhere near enough for me. 🙂

    • One has to wonder how sensible it is to TEACH a cow to jump gates and fences. I am sure that Daisy would look at this with delight! Good find.. c

  16. Love the cat in the tree! Loved the Herriot books and tv series. Bought the whole series in fact, but can’t remember the choking goat.

  17. What a beautiful piece of writing, and I can feel your mother’s presence. My mother too left a cloud of perfume behind when she went out at night. It still reminds me of her, just thinking about it. Perfume is so evocative, goes right to the senses.

  18. Your words have such grace and poise. I adore your description of the act of writing, just so perfect.

  19. Hello, Cecilia.
    So lovely to meet you via Nancy’s writing challenge. I love your photos. A sustainable farm…that is a life’s work to be proud of…and it sounds as if you have had many other lives to be proud of.:)
    Your entry is a lilting song…and the piece about your mom brought back memories of mine. At 5pm every afternoon, my mother would go upstairs to change and ‘put on her face’…that is put on her makeup and a pretty dress, in preparation for my father’s arrival from work. My sister and I were impressed that this was a routine from which she never faltered.

    • welcome vivian, wonderful to meet you and what a sparkling memory of your mother, as much as anything she must have felt so much better changing from her every day clothes and dressing for dinner with your father.. it would make an ordinary evening an everyday occassion.. it is a lovely idea, thank you.. c

      • Hello Cecilia and congratulations! You are one of Nancy’s seven finalists…I knew your entry was special the first time I read it…and rereading it again, I enjoyed it all the more.:)

  20. Pingback: The Writer’s Desk ~ Let the Voting Begin! « Spirit Lights The Way

  21. Pingback: The Writer’s Desk ~ And The Winner Is . . . « Spirit Lights The Way

Welcome to the Lounge of Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: