I'm convinced that creativity finds its deepest expressions when afforded time. Today my Eldest moved slowly from one creative endeavor to another&mdash all self-chosen. Teaching herself Old English (I don't know why), teaching herself Gregg shorthand (because... um... ?), playing wild and poignant improvisations on piano, and finally when evening came... writing.
It is the writing I can share with you. But in it I feel all the other things lurking. And so you can have a small peek at today's creativity...The Forgotten Land a short story by Sara, 12.
There were forty-five men on the ship.
She washed up, at first, an abandoned wreck, tattered sails, carrying more water in her holds than food or treasure. The rocks, hidden in the waves and sharp as teeth, had cut through the wood, but the ship had brought them there with her last breaths.
There was no sign, now, of the storm that had brought them to these shores, the waves splashed calmly against the sand, unconcerned. Forty-five men staggered onto dry ground, looked upon the strange land they had stumbled on. The sand stretched as far as the eye could see in all directions but the one they had come from.
They were not in good spirits. Ten wanted to go this way, ten wanted to go that way, ten would go forwards and the rest thought their fortunes could not get any worse no matter what direction they went, and didn't care.
Finally, they decided to go one day to the north. Then, if all was unchanged, two days to the south, and if all still was the same to go forwards and hope for the best. The sand, as they had much time to contemplate as the day went on, was white and fine. The sun kept up at the same pace it had all day, and if they had not seen the ship fade out of sight, might have thought they were not moving at all.
At sundown, they came to a place of jagged black rocks, and most were in favor of turning back, but ten went on alone. If the shore had not been in sight, there would have been no hope of finding their way back, as it was they were sure to die if on their second day water had not been found.
But amazingly, gratefully, wonderfully, a thin silver line lay in the distance... a ribbon fallen from some giant's hair. They had found a river.
Of the ten who stayed among the rocks, they had wandered together, drawing gradually closer to the tallest one, a tower of black above all the others. They found, however, it was not a rock, but man-made, hewn from the stone, who knew how many ages ago. Steps were through the doorway, illuminated by slits of daylight through tiny spaces too small to be real windows. At the top was a flat space, enclosed by a waist-high wall, where once you might have been able to study the sky. In the center was hollow depression, which, it seemed, had collected from countless rains, a shallow pool of clear water.
They had followed the stream for how long it was hard to say, but now the trees had risen up, old, old trees, a deep pool, a waterfall wreathed with mist. All animals that must once have inhabited the place were long gone, leaving the forest and its clear lake.
Fifteen had decided to go on to the unknown, leaving the strange forest behind; they had traveled together for six days, until at that place, run out of water brought from the forest, ten had gone one way and five the other.
On the north way, there was a city of marble, beautiful and empty, with only a broken down well to save the shipwrecked, telling not its secrets to those passing by.
Of the south way, a crystal pond, liquid water, with no river connecting or leaving it, a diamond scattered on the ground, and an old, old stone aqueduct, water carrier like the arches of the Romans, but crumbled away, quite suddenly, next to the pool, standing high, high up, grey.
Often Sara doesn't finish her stories. That's okay. They are creative experiences, experiments with processes, lovely bits, and to me that's enough.
Rocks on the Shore photo by L.L. Barkat.
Labels: children's writing, creativity, home education, writing