I ate words for breakfast

I have spent the whole weekend gorging on words. My family have left me alone in our home, free to explore the Melbourne Writers Festival at my whim. I am surprised at how quickly I have relinquished the structured routine of domestic life. Its day two and my world has collapsed into chaos. A crumb-filled breakfast plate lies on an unmade bed, coupling with books and journals and a tumble of dirty linen. Clothes and shoes party with a wet towel on my bedroom floor. A tower of plastic containers grows from the bottom of the sink and the dog and fish are hungry. I have not brushed my teeth. Not because I chose not to, I’ve just forgotten. It’s the result of a lapse in normality. My world today is rich with life as I would live it if I were single. I have rediscovered my unmarried self. I am disordered, lanky and carefree. I realise that, in my heart of hearts, I am a slob.

The relief of freedom is astounding. Without the boundaries set by the presence of my family I melt into unoccupied spaces. I find spaces on the train, spaces in my bed, spaces in cafes and spaces in ACMI Cinema 1 and BMW Edge. It’s as if all those empty seats have been waiting for me to arrive in them, my shape already imprinted in the air above them like a double shadow cast by two lights.

Words. They pour from the nib of my pen in a rush. Like the rain pouring over the state of Victoria, they flood my ears and rush over my eyes. I devour them. I am thirsty and ravenous. I read everything I touch. I am shipwrecked in a story ocean, swirled by currents of poetry and prose, grasping at conceptual driftwood.

I’ve heard that drowning is a lovely way to die. At some point, when the brain is starved of oxygen, we embark on a beautiful, light filled journey. Drowning this weekend in words has had a similar effect.

After Liner Notes at The Toff, where we ‘celebrated’ Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album, I get on the train. Melbourne on a rainy night becomes a soft and shiny city, punctuated with light filled apostrophes, full stops and question marks. The Metro inspectors glide along the platforms, impressive navy mountains inspecting discarded passengers scattered along the platform. The world is rich with letters of all shapes and sizes. The world is decorated with words. It is like literary Christmas and I am tearing the wrapping off the presents and savouring the expensive champagne.

But, just like Christmas, the weekend must end. The writers must go home and my family must return. My world will be recalibrated back to ‘normal function’. Tomorrow, as I return to work,  occupying a seat on the train with my fellow dead-pan commuters, I will dream and remember that for two days I swam in words with the agility and grace of a dolphin. I will remember the joy of being immersed in the wonder of words.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Margareta Osborn Kerby
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 17:22:05

    Kate. You are amazing. What a great piece of writing. I can see it all. xo

    Reply

  2. Coll
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 11:45:36

    Loved these last 2 posts and so glad you enjoyed the Writers Festival.
    Lots of love & looking forward to more & the day you publish a book.
    xxx

    Reply

    • Kate Rizzetti
      Sep 06, 2010 @ 18:07:28

      Thanks Coll. Hopefully the book isn’t too far away. My manuscript has been long listed (along with two wonderful writingfriends) for the Hachette Livre publisher manuscript development program in Queensland. That means I am one of 50 hopefuls for 10 places at a week long intensive to work the manuscript into publishable standard under the guidance of a big publisher who gets 12 months for first dibs on the work. Cross everything for me – it’s a BIG opportunity. Lots of love xx K

      Reply

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