Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chicory Road- a writing process

After last night's Teachers Write Twitter chat I was inspired but just couldn't think of anything to write this morning.  I stumbled around online and then found 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know by Jeff Alexander.  I started to take notes on the book and then started another page with notes on an idea I'd been playing with.  Somehow I was reminded of how during a long ago late summer I was walking along a country road despondently and grew fond of the blue chicory flower growing there.  I am always reminded when I see it that my prayers were answered.  So I decided to start writing a storyline called Chicory Road, which actually exists in Racine.
      I started researching chicory, more or less just for fun, and found fascinating information that I can use in a story:
The Germans call it 'Blauwarte' (not very romantic) but the stories and poems are an inspiration.  It means 'blue lookout by the wayside' and in folklore it was believed to be able to open locked doors.

I found a beautiful poem translated into English that captures the feeling I had when I walked down the Chicory road years ago:
Hermann Löns, 1866-1914

Es steht eine Blume,
Wo der Wind weht den Staub,
|: Blau ist ihre Blüte,
   Aber grau ist ihr Laub. :|Ich stand an dem Wege,
Hielt auf meine Hand,
|: Du hast deine Augen
   Von mir abgewandt. :|
Jetzt stehst du am Wege,
Da wehet der Wind,
|: Deine Augen, die blauen,
   Vom Staub sind sie blind. :|
Da stehst du und wartest,
Daß ich komme daher,
|: Wegewarte, Wegewarte,
   Du blühst ja nicht mehr. :|
tr. Steve Roski 1998

A flower is standing
By the side of the way.
Light blue is her blossom,
Her leaves they are grey.I came down that road once,
Reached my hand out to stay.
I looked in your eyes then,
But you turned them away.
You stand by the road now
Where the desert winds gust.
Your beautiful blue eyes
Are blinded by dust.
You're waiting that I will
Come along as before.
Wayside Flower, Wayside Flower,
You don't bloom anymore.

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