I was wandering through the floating markets in Thailand, soaking wet not because of an overturned longboat but because it was pouring rain. There’s a point you reach when you realise no umbrella will keep the rain out, so you resign yourself to the fact that you’re already wet and you’re going to stay wet for a while, so why bother trying to juggle umbrella, camera, and awe? I had reached that point – in fact, sitting in a paddle boat being taken down the canals and literally hooked into stalls (the stalls are actually boats along the side and the vendors have long wooden poles they use to actually hook the side of your boat and pull you in) while it’s pouring rain is an experience in itself, and my camera and awe were handfuls enough without having to add an umbrella to the mix.
By the time I disembarked, wallet lighter and bag heavier, I was wet. Very wet. Puddling through some of the outer stores, I was acutely aware that it was almost time to leave when my attention was caught by a little pot. Surrounded by pots in blues and pinks, this little green one stood out – not only for being unique but also because, let’s face it, green is my favourite colour and I do so love these little pots.
Of course, I don’t need another little pot. I don’t need yet another “thing” to transport when I leave Singapore.
And, of course, I picked it up. As I did, the familiar opening bars of a song I’ve recently made a “new favourite” crackled out of a nearby speaker.
Smile an everlasting smile …
I didn’t smile. I grinned. And I bought the pot.
Sitting on the bus (still wet and unlikely to dry before the day came to an end), I thought about all the things I could do with this pot. And then I thought of the song, of the meaning it has to me – not only to change my story but also to simply enjoy the pleasure of words.
It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away.
I have returned home and filled my little pot with a thousand words. These are my favourite words, my favourite phrases; this is a celebration of words. Before I went away I had buried myself in a pile of tangled threads, dug a hole and covered myself with them. I had stopped writing.
Now, I have a little pot containing a thousand words.
A thousand words.
My writing wish for you is for you to find your words. Maybe you need to keep them close by in a little pot. Maybe you need to store them in a journal. Find your words; find the well from which you need to draw words in order to write.