For some time now, I think it's been years, my mother has been suggesting (strongly) that I write a book about Mavis Pool. Mavis pool is a small manmade ocean water rock-pool that sits at the northern end of Copacabana Beach. Mavis Pool is a place where kids in 'floaties' swim while their parents sunbathe at the edge, it's a pool where only small waves are allowed, a place for the elderly and the surf shy. But if you take your goggles in you also discover that there tucked away from the rough and tumble of the open ocean and safe from predators jaws, is a paradise of underwater life in full swing!
Mum loves Mavis Pool, at almost 80 she drives down to it almost every day for a dip in the ocean and a snorkel. She has made it her mission (mum never does anything by halves) to document all the underwater wildlife there, so with her underwater camera she photographs while she swims and then when she is warm and dry back home she looks through the photos to try and identify them. If for some reason she can't find a match she sends the images to a fish spotting sharing website for others to name (or congratulate her on her rare discovery and excellent photography!). I must admit while her project was super interesting I couldn't grasp even the tail of inspiration to start writing, I didn't want a book just about fish in a rock-pool, a 'who's who' of finned friends, I needed something deeper, so with renewed determination after another visit to mums I put the Mavis Pool idea on 'percolate'. Now 'percolate' is a term I use, I'm not sure if others do the same, but I feel to put an idea onto 'percolate' is an important practice for the creative practitioner to learn, it means that throughout the day you let the thought hover...hover there on the back-burner on simmer, just letting it be it's self, percolating, waiting for the universe to ignite it with inspiration. Well this thought did not sit for too long, I was woken in the wee hours of that morning (not just by my partners snores) but by vivid and full inspiration. Mavis pool wasn't a story about fish, it was a story about love and connection to place, a love so simple and deep that it was sustained over time, throughout all-time, through the lives of women. I had a persistent visceral image of a woman putting on her goggles at the waters edge and time travelling, I made mental notes hoping I would not forget the image and when I woke at the proper time in the morning, the quiet still voice of inspiration answered me. It had answered me with a gentle voice of such detail and with such unwavering clarity that a small universe was born. I wrote with ease and without straining (or artistic angst) a story about Mavis Pool, in full, out by hand, perfect, almost in it's entirety. ...A publisher is considering it now...
my fingers are crossed.
Thank you quiet, still voice for answering. Beth.