ACW

ACW

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Dreamer Inside, by Deborah Jenkins


I was wandering around our local area this morning, trying to get inspiration for this post. But I decided not to think about it. Instead I wanted to enjoy the sun and wind and the frills of shade stitched across the road. I was carrying a small bag of bits, a Waitrose coffee and a new library book and it struck me for the first time in ages that I had nothing to think about except now. It's so long since I've done this that it felt almost wrong. Surely, apart from this post, I had things I should be planning in my head? An article, a trip, my lessons next week? For once, all done. As I ambled along, watching the sky and the underside of leaves, I had that same feeling I had when I was little, It's hard to describe - a sort of dreamy, hypnotic this-is-now feeling. It usually involved wind and warmth and that wonderful sense of time unrolled in front of you, like at the beginning of the summer holidays, when everything would be slow. Of course in those days, there was no internet, no electronic games and only an hour of kids' TV. So slow-time was pretty much a way of life. What on earth did we do? Well, I used to change my room round, make rank perfume out of rose petals, play fairies with my friend under the oak tree across the road, and of course read.

As I got older I had to beat this dreaminess out of myself as it would sometimes get me into trouble - like going into men's toilets or leaving library books in fields. When I became a teacher, I soon realised that what other teachers most respected was EFFICIENCY! Inspirational teachers were considered inefficient, head-in the-clouds sorts. Nobody liked them. They were talked about endlessly and not in a good way. So I traded dreamy for EFFICIENT and it has stood me in good stead over the years. (Now that I'm older, I don't care. I am what I am and if they talk about me, so be it.)

But my point - my rather rambly, dreamy totally INEFFICIENT post - is about the fact that maybe we should all allow our dreamy side free sway once in a while, particularly when writing. That's what children do. They live in the moment, and inspiration strikes in unlikely ways. One of my dreamiest pupils came up with this sentence about the poem,The Highwayman, on Friday: - He rode, with a thud of hooves, through solemn trees that traced a ribbon of moonlight to her door. During the input, she spends most of her time looking out of the window. But I never mind, because so do I when I'm in there after school. In summer, it's a beautiful lemon-coloured rectangle of light with a semi-circle of sky where clouds bloom like flowers.

So, my dreamy walk got my post written. And my mid-year resolution is to be child-like, dreamy and head-in-the-clouds-ish more often, when appropriate, of course. This is the real me and it's how I get my inspiration. How about you?

Click on the link to see the novella on Amazon
Deborah Jenkins is a primary school teacher and freelance writer who has written articles, text books, devotional notes and short stories. She also writes regularly for the TES. She has completed a novella, The Evenness of Things, available as an Amazon e-book and is currently working on a full length novel. Deborah loves hats, trees and small children. After years overseas with her family, who are now grown up, she lives in south-west London with her husband, a Baptist minister, and a cat called Oliver. 


13 comments:

  1. I need more dreaming in my life. I think I'm still trapped in the 'Shouldn't you be doing something purposeful?' mentality! I do really like the fact that I used to live in the same village as you, though, so I can envisage you wandering purposelessly around the streets :)

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  2. Thought you might recognise it :) Yes, you need to give in to your dreamy side Mrs Hill. Soon you'll have more time to do that. Whoopee!

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  3. Deborah, I've been thinking along the same lines for a while now, but not half so beautifully. Thank you xx

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  4. Aw, that's kind of you to say so Jane 🙂 Keep dreaming!

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  5. I love those times when your thoughts discard their duties and wander around freely, blown by whatever wind of imagination or stimulation comes along! You're so right, we don't get enough of those, there's always too much we're supposed to think about. But it may be in those free-thinking times that we discover more of what we should be thinking about! Thanks for this insight, Deborah.

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    1. Yes, totally agree, Paul. I think we have to actually make ourselves do it when we're older, whereas it comes more naturally to children. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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  6. I was regularly accused of day-dreaming as a child, with the implication that it wasn't really acceptable. Thanks for encouraging me to celebrate my inner dreamer!

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  7. Aw fantastic Deborah. Yeah, I'm realising more and more than this dreaminess is the real me - just 'being' rather than 'doing'. And thanks for bringing back happy memories of stealing rose petals from my friend's mum's rose bushes to make distinctive-smelling 'perfume' and making up endless stories for my family of empty loo rolls! Happy days :)

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    1. Ah that was a 'proper childhood' wasn't it Mandy? ;) Thanks for reading and commenting x

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  8. Haha! Love the loo rolls! I used to line up my teddies and give them school work. Then I had to DO the work so I could do the 'best bit':marking. Now I'm a real teacher, that's the worst bit!! Your comment made me think of the Mary/Martha thing. Perhaps many of us start out as Maries but life turns us into Marthas. We need to embrace our inner Maries 🙂

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  9. I love this - it inspires me to continue being a dreamer, alongside being a writer.

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