In a tiny village on the Somerset/Cotswolds border is my thinking place. Nestled at the bottom of a valley and tucked in between vibrant green fields is a wide ford; gentle water flows underneath a bridge festooned with ivy, to swirl against a worn concrete platform. Ceramic pipes channel and funnel the water through the concrete, creating a broiling wier-like stream on the other side. The sounds are magical- burbling, slapping noises as the stream enters the pipes, and a splashing rumble on the other side. Going there always clears my mind and lifts my spirits.
On my last visit I walked in to the water to clear some debris from the pipe-mouths, which gave a satisfying gurgle as the water rushed in to widened apertures. As I cleared a particularly clogged pipe of a dam of twigs, moss, branches and stones, I realised with a chuckle that I was looking at my own writing process. Perhaps the sight of the built up silt glittering in sunlight as it flowed away did it, or maybe it was the sounds of the water, but I suddenly thought about how I write. My thoughts flow and move exactly like the water in that ford.
I am a midnight writer, and seldom write before the wee hours. I ride with the flow of the day, allowing ideas and words to settle and collect, like silt and debris at those pipes. As the hours ripple on, the silty mass darkens and becomes richer, growing in to phrases and sentences whether I consciously think of them or not. When I settle down to write, I let them go. I jab a stick in to the collected matter and pull and twist, starting a stream. The words and ideas race through the pipes and emerge as something broiling and transformed. Looking at a finished piece of writing, I see a clear flow, and plunge my brain in to the serenity that this brings. There are few simple pleasures as satisfying as running fingers ( or thoughts) in to smooth running water as it flows away.
© Tom Tide 2016