Wednesday, November 9, 2011

With Real Toads: a memory bowl

Ella, of the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, has suggested we put some items into a bowl to see what memories they trigger, then write a poem about the thoughts that come to us.
I chose a bowl I dearly love, although it is very plain and isn't a particularly inspiring color. I cherish it because it belonged to my grandmother, whom I loved very, very much.
I placed a few items, at random, into the bowl, then tried to take photos of it. I've somehow messed up the settings on my good camera, and, although I opened the flash, it didn't come on. Therefore, all the photos are out of focus.
I was halfway through writing the above paragraph before I remembered I have another camera. It's one of those days. If you're not my age yet, you likely will be some day, and you'll know what I mean.
Out of focus, don't try enlarging! :-)

I only put half a dozen objects into the bowl. If you could see my house, you'd know there are too many objects everywhere. One of the few empty places happened to be this bowl. In here, I have a beaded coin purse my best friend gave me because we both love baseball. She has now moved to England with her British-born husband, and baseball is in very short supply over there.
Then there's a pencil with no eraser. I have a pink eraser somewhere. And there's a bright orange tape measure. This is my 50-foot tape. I can't find my hundred-foot tape, and I often want to measure things outside. It belongs with the pencil because I am always designing and re-designing houses, in case our present little house burns down (heaven forbid) or in case the town office decides to let us subdivide our large lot.
Then there are some spare sequins from my brown jacket. I will never use them, even if some fall off the jacket, because I can't see to thread a needle, or use one. Then there is a keychain with a Russian matryoshka doll on it. Viking River Cruises gave one to each passenger on their Waterways of the Czars cruise in August.
Wikipedia photo — the tomb of the unknown soldier,  Ottawa, Canada.
And, finally, there's a poppy. Friday, November 11, is Remembrance Day in Canada, when we remember those who died in World War I and since.
Nanny's bowl and Judith's purse,
tape measure, pencil, here,
so I can sit and think and plan
of what I'll put right there.
Matryoshka doll so tiny,
and purple sequins, too
that won't get sewn on anywhere,
no matter what I do.
But the poppy—
the poppy's for remembrance,
for my grandfather's war,
my father's war,
and other wars that came
where Canadian peacekeepers perished:
everyone thought it a shame.
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day
of the eleventh month in the eleventh year,
a minute of silence hushes us
at school, at work, at home,
and we remember.
We remember, too, to keep in our hearts
the young men dying today,
far from home, and far from hope
of peace, in the blood, and the grey, grey mud.


SquirrelQueen said...

You little bowl held a lot of memories. That is s lovey poem and a great tribute to those who gave their lives in too many wars.

Jo said...

Beautiful memories, Kay. I never realised there's an unknown soldier's tomb in Canada too. (((hugs))) Jo

Catfish Tales said...

Good idea, your bowl full of musings for creative writing ideas. I also raised my boys with a lovely retriever. He wasn't a rescue dog, though. Since we lived in the mountains at the time, and my then husband was a volunteer for the Alpine rescue team, we thought of training Riley to tag along and help. He was a digging dog, after all. :) But he didn't prove reliable enough for the chore. He also loved to ski, and quite comically so, sticking his front legs and paws straight out in front of him and sliding down with my sled boarding sons. Fun times and good memories!

kaykuala said...

Beautifully done Kay! Your process notes made easy reading of the poetry. What a poetry! By putting those items in the bowl the ideas just clicked. Great technique and great verse!


ksdoolittle said...

What a great idea!! And your poem, I absolutely love it. You are a very talented woman. It caused me to stop and think of what would I put into the bowl?

Madi and Mom said...

Memory bowl!! What a great ideat.
I bet you stop by it each day to remember very special days.
Hugs Madi and Mom

Ciccia said...

Hi, I found you at my friend's Jo's blog about her garden and cats. I am Sicilian but grew up in New York. I studied Russian for a whole summer at Toronto University in 1972 and your Russian doll brought back so many lovely memories of my classmates and teachers. And I loved Toronto, I even found a gelato shop there, can you imagine, real Italian ice cream! I see you like music of the 50s and 60s. My daughter sings music of that period, she is a retro girl. She has many fans in Canada. If you have time you can check out her website and from there you can see her Youtube channels and Facebook.

We live in Sicily but at the moment we are in Rome. Best regards. Francesca

Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh this struck me to the heart - brought to mind my Grandmother and Grandfather, both of whom served in Egypt during WW2. Gosh, I miss them, and all their world stood for.

Phil said...

Nicely done Kay. And here's something political, we in the UK have to be careful now that by wearing a poppy we do not upset those amongst us who don't agree with our society but still live amongst us. Its a crazy world. Look forward to seeing you at KE and sharing the thrill of a hunting Merlin with you. Yes it is the way of nature for good or bad.

Kay said...

Beautiful, Kay! You are a master of words. Interesting that Veteran's Day tomorrow is 11-11-11.

By the way, I've got a little doll key chain just like that. I use it as a Christmas ornament.

Ella said...

I loved all the memories tied in and your tribute to the war! It was touching and beautiful~

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I so enjoyed this post, Kay, especially about not being able to see to thread a needle. Me too. Loved the remembrance of veterans. One sweet old soul I work for is dying right now - he was a vet - went to war at eighteen. And my favorite uncle served in the RAF in England. My grandparents saw him off at the railway station with ten dollars in his pocket - times were hard and that is all they had to give him.