Monday, September 22, 2008

The Womb Chair


So, I witnessed what Katy did, and I also know what she did next because I was there.I was on that island when the Robinson family got shipwrecked and I watched from up a tree as those children in the New Forest struggled to remain hidden.
I watched in wonder as the secret garden was revealed, shared tears with the little women, followed Heidi up a mountain with that grumpy son of a bitch and helped Charlotte the spider with her innovative web design.

All this and more I saw from my reading chair, curled in comfort, except when they let out the Baskerville hounds and then I was most definitely under it and I was probably behind it when Shere Khan was on the prowl. But safe. In my chair, but not in this world, sampling the thoughts, ideas and experiences of some great writers even before I was ten.
I exposed myself to magick, ghosts and rotten real life people. I learned about love, hate, integrity, cheating, killing pigs, survival and the trick of finding doors at the back of ancient wardrobes. From this protective womb chair I learned about heartbreak before I had tasted my own and enhanced the morals that my parents had gifted to me. Can there be anything more powerful to help a child over the threshold to adulthood?

I return to my womb chair almost daily. Many books still deliver a lasting education and a lingering need to escape the world, feeding an imagination that still believes that I was once Anne of Green Gables.

Just so.


.

34 comments:

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Beautiful post, Minx. I think there is nothing like childhood literature to create richness and magic, stimulate imagination and induce a sense of safety.
So, so sad then that so many schools are closing down their libraries to make way for ICT centres. Hear there is a whole campaign afoot in the UK to try and put a stop to it.

john.g. said...

Keep off the Gin!

Shameless Words said...

Hi Minx,
Just popping in to say hi ... I lurk around here from time to time, and good to see you're still producing lots of lovely stuff.
I hope you're well and summer brought all different kinds of sunshine.

soubriquet said...

That's a great post, Minx, or maybe I just say so because I shared all those books, and more, Anne of Green Gables, Lone Pine London, Oh yes, like so many children, books were my secret garden. I could open up a book, and slip away, disappear from this world into countless others. A child of an era where televisions were not universal, and entertainment was stories.

You put it so well, for in reading, we were not passive observers, we lived in the story, we stowed away on pirate ships, trekked across the mountains, and, of course, were tutored by the animals of the forest...

Debi said...

Ah, a womb with a view.

I read all those but my favourite was Biggles Flies Undone.

(Apologies for lowering the tone of this lovely post. You know you can rely on me ...)

Debi said...

And look! Lurking Shameless has popped in!

bulletholes said...

Makes me want to go sit on a Vagina Bench.
Sorry, Minx, i just can't help being a bit rude.

I nebver read Anne, but I saw the series on PBS and its such a great story....I loved the old farmer guy and the way he had such a tender spot for Anne, and tried to kkep perace with her and his wife and the way he stuck up for her when it came time.

Hi Minx!

bulletholes said...

Translation from whatever language it is I type...
"Tried to keep peace with her"

OK...I'm through.

Minx said...

Thanks, Vanilli, but I fear we are losing this battle.

I am very much on the gin, John G, to be off it would be the stuff of nightmares!

Shameless, my lovely Lurkio, good to see you, honey. The summer brought all sorts of things but not much sunshine although I appear to bathed in it now!

Ah, Soub, we are from a bygone age, you and me. Readers of the paper world, explorers of realms, hunters of the Silver Chairs! Don't forget to tell someone what it was like before.

You are fibber, Debi Alper, Biggles was not your fave, I know full well that you have the full set of Enid Blyton's 'Mallory Towers' series.
I have greeted Master Shameless and now we can have a lovely picnic together with hunks of pork pie and lashings of ginger beer.

I had no trouble with the second bit of yer comment, Bullets, but I am puzzling over 'vagina bench' - Virginia beach? Explain your Merkanisms.
Hi, Bullets (waves).

bulletholes said...

No, Minxy, Vagina Bench would be correct, a kind of variation of a Womb Chair, but I can understand your confusion because I have never sen one either, but if you can come up with one I'd love to come sit on it for a time.
By the way, my verification letters are "smacku"....no shit!

leslie said...

I have found reading to be that rarest form of magic that allows suspension between the two worlds, childhood and adulthood, permanently hovering at the threshold.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

A poignant and lovely post, Minx.
I really feel for children who are weened on the computer. Only books can create the atmospehre of something wonderful and magical.

Yes, love Helen Mirren. I'm just now getting a small taste of the importantce of a good casting director. Have always been on the screenwriter's end. Thanks, Minx!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Arrr. I think it's time for a chocolate. It'll help me spell better! Chocolates are the answer to any problem! :))

Minx said...

You might find this more interesting, Bullets...
The Velvet Vulva

Magick is exactly what it is, Leslie. I very glad I can still tap into it.

Thank you, Petra, I am passionate about reading.
Chocolates won't help, and for fucks sake don't mix it with spaghetti!

Vesper said...

I remember such a chair, Minx (mine was more like a bed, though... :-)), and I long for it... Unfortunately, there's little place left for it in this "modern" world. We do what we can for our children. I'm happy my daughters love to read.

Minx said...

Mine morphed into bed late at night, Vesper, and a torch was very useful for keeping my world illuminated under the covers!
You're right, but only those who have experienced the joy of losing oneself in a story are able to encourage their children to do likewise.

bulletholes said...

Minx, as I was falling asleep last night, I woke with a start, thinking about Virginia Beach, and how genius you truly are. You were sticking it to me weren't you, and now the Velvet Vulva...I am disgraced and outclassed, but I'm still here and will live to duel another day!
Good show!

Minx said...

I'm sorry I kept you awake, Steve, heh. No disgrace and certainly not outclassed but sharpen up yer wits because I so enjoy pistols at dawn with someone who can fight dirty!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I wish more kids today had a passion for these stories... for the classics that have swept some of us away to countless other times and worlds, as a myriad of characters, and brought us fantastic new dreams.

Unfortunately, most of the kids today are too busy with electronics to pick up a bound book and travel that way.

I *love* this post.

I thought I I was Anne...

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Roberta said...

This is lovely.

I had a crabapple tree in which to perch and read. Green Manions, The Yearling, Steven King...on and on, lost in other worlds!

Minx said...

It makes me sad, Scarlett, when I hear people say that they don't like reading. It is one of the best stress relievers, a place to leave the world behind and enter another. I get the same feeling when I write my own stuff.

I know I am preaching to the converted here, Roberta. The blogworld is populated with 'reading' types.
It makes me sad when I hear people say that they don't like reading.

Roberta said...

Luckily I believe I have done something right with my boys. The oldest is an English Lit teacher and the youngest is a librarian. The language and the ability to read it has always enthralled them.

BTW: just posted my first book review.

PS. I'm hiding from Shameless. I was supposed to finish that story on his blog and I'm afraid I got busy, frustrated and then forgot. Do you think he'll ever forgive me?

Naah.

Yodood said...

Ah, dear Minx, I instantly drifted into the A.A. Milne poem, Nursery Chairs, from His book of Poems, When We Were Very Young. You and he are constant delight to me. Were you channeling him by any chance?

handmaiden said...

Oh, I do love literature . When i was a kid, i think books saved my life. I would have to add to your collection, the American classics... Jack London, John Steinbeck & Samuel Clemmons (Mark Twain).

Minx said...

They obviously lived in a lovely house of books, Roberta! I hope they pass it down the generations.
Uh oh, you're in trouble! Shameless will hunt you down!

I was more likely channeling Pooh, Yodood!

Handmaiden, I think books are still doing that for me today and I still have a very battered copy of The Grapes of Wrath that I, um, 'acquired' from school.

bulletholes said...

Channeling Pooh! Thats brilliant!
Can I use it?

Minx said...

Use it for what, Bullets?

Jan said...

LOvely lovely post.

Minx said...

Thanks, Jan, nice to see you.I am reading 'Birds without wings' - Louis de Bernieres but his writing is a bit arsy sometimes.

Elaine said...

You just brought back a memory of having to read the last chapter of the last book of Malory Towers. I SO wanted to get to the end but I knew when I did it would all be over. The tears I cried!

Minx said...

I teased Debi about the mallory Towers series, Elaine, but I had the full set, and St Clares, The Secret Seven, Famous Five and anything else that Enid ever committed to paper. The Magic Faraway Tree was a favourite and the Feckers adored it as well. I also found myself reading it to them in my best Queenie voice.

bulletholes said...

I got a scathing Email from the X Mrs Bulletholes concerning my little sense of humort and I told her I was "Channeling Pooh and Eyeore too"
and that Society could blow me.
That ought to show her.

Minx said...

Bullets, I am surprised that the ex Mrs Bulletholes is not channeling something large and heavy into yer head by now. Using humour where it isn't wanted is dangerous to your health!

Reading the Signs said...

I has those books too, Minx. They were the best reading days of all.