Monday, April 20, 2009

bedtime stories

Narrative photography in class tomorrow: I'm unlikely to go out into the wind and rain and lightning to set up an outdoors scene, but this harks back to some of my earliest story telling practices.   I had very firm set bed-times when I was small - they advanced by half an hour a year, like the way in which my pocket money advanced 6d a year until I received 2s 6d a week when I was 11 (enough to buy a plastic pony.... but around 18 cents in today's currency...).   When I was 9, that meant that I went to bed around 7 p.m., I think (I was certainly in bed when my mother came upstairs to tell me that President Kennedy had been assassinated).   Retrospectively, this seems terrifically early - and probably explains why I never fell straight asleep, but lay awake for hours, reading (that was easier in summer than winter - though I doubtless stretched my eyes by reading by the light that came into my bedroom through the open door from the landing), running over the day in my mind (quite literally - trying to remember each thing chronologically - I thought the mental training was good for me...), and making up stories.   One of my favorite ways of doing this (with or without plastic ponies) was to puff up my pillow and then burrow, cave-like, into it, making a little dwelling place, with ledges on which imaginary people would sleep and hollows in which they and their animals could hide (really rather like the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde or Canyon de Chelly - though I didn't know this at the time, I would have been fascinated by them).   Which, at a stretch, allows me to incorporate the Appaloosa into tonight's reconstruction of a site for bedtime stories.

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