I'm looking to improve my writing chops. All part of the process.
So I'm taking Sunday as a day to use some writing prompts with this blogging thing. Give me a chance to stretch a little and focus on something specific -- spur me on, so to speak. I think it will prove to be very interesting.
Look around the room and pick an object. Write one paragraph describing the object in full detail and a second paragraph explaining where it came from.
It sits in an inauspicious place in my living room, keeping company with a densely scented candle and antiquated editions of Shakespeare and Blake. I have no idea how tall it is – without a measuring tool, I am hopelessly inept in the ways of determining size precisely.
It’s small. Round. Compact. But powerful and wise. It tells the story of another time, a time not measurably that long ago, but one that seems light years away. A time when the world itself was small, round and compact.
A time when places like French West Africa and British Guiana still existed. French Indochina. Burma. The U.S.S.R.
The colors are muted. Faded from time and touch. The oceans and seas are befittingly vast, a shade of aqua seen only in pure waters surrounding tropical islands. Countries are tinted in earth tones that once were probably more Technicolor than dusty. Type is small – reader glasses small. So much information compiled onto such an efficient space. Overwhelming in its scope yet intimate in the nuances it provides.
The base and support elements are metal – dark, dark metal. Not rusted, but aged. Well. Appropriate.
This is my grandfather’s globe. Eight inches high. Monumental in impact.
I didn’t know my grandfather – he died when my mother was only five years old. Somehow, I have become the keeper of the family treasures, including this globe. I imagine it sitting on his desk at home, a reference for his work as a Spanish professor at our local junior college. Or for his frequent trips to Cuba. I see my mother’s inquisitive fingerprints on it – there mostly for the thrill of spinning it round and round but also for searching and finding and seeking.
I’m also not sure about the exact age of the globe – it postdates 1936, as there’s a notation about the reaching of the North Pole, which happened in ’36. But it’s most likely around 70 years old, give or take. Wow.
And while I don’t know a lot about the globe – and don’t know a lot about my grandfather, having this item of his in my possession helps me to feel closer both to him and to his world.
Maybe it’s not so inauspicious after all.