Writing about things in Jerusalem
Two weeks ago, twelve writers sat round a long table above a small nursery garden in Ben Zayid, in rural surroundings near Jerusalem. The sun shone, the flowers flowered and the spirit moved as we examined the objects we had each brought with us to the workshop, wondered about them, and finally introduced into the stories we wrote there and then the ones which in some way inspired us. Then we listened to each others’ stories, looked again at the objects, amazed that this little pile of stuff could produce such literary delights – and later we ate and drank and chatted. All agreed it had been a morning well spent.
We were there as guests of my friend Judy Labensohn at her Writing Pad – www.writeinisrael.com/writing-pad. She helped me to organise a workshop where we would consider “things” and why they were important to us. I suggested to participants that they take a look at this blog before coming, and that they bring some “thing” from home that we would use in the workshop, as well as a contribution to an outdoor lunch.
The objects on the table included:
- an old silver pen
- some car keys
- a pearl hat pin
- a box of very old soap
- an abstract carving
- a small brush for applying hair dye
- a red hair ribbon
- a fossil
- a trophy won in a game of softball
- an African tribal snuff holder
- a photograph of the Queen’s sitting room
- a mobile phone
- a child’s pair of white lacy gloves
- a sculpture from Nablus of a bird, about to take off in flight
- a pair of brand new crocs which I’d brought from England for one of the participants, Shosh
Shosh wrote about the crocs next day and sent me her piece as a thank you. I will publish it here, and one or two other contributions from the writers who gathered together that sunny morning in The Writing Pad.