Taking a deep breath – making a start …

9 January, 2010

I am living in a little apartment that looks down onto one of the narrow winding lanes in Palermo’s historic centre.  I think I am gradually beginning to be accepted by my neighbours, but it has taken time.   The fact that I was still here when summer had come and gone seemed to be a major turning point.  

It is not an easy city to get to know – and for some, not an easy city to get to like.  Much of the historic centre is in a state of degradation: once grand city squares are dirty and littered with rubbish, noble palazzi crumbling and forgotten, their tall once-elegant windows now just a series of gaping holes filled with bricks.  It takes time to see the seam of gold that runs through this city and its people.  But it is there.  And finding it is well worth the effort. 

Why am I starting a blog? There are two main reasons. The first is that  I hope it might help me understand the city better, and enable me to share that understanding with others.  The second is purely personal.  I have always had a memory like a sieve – one with rather large holes – and that, combined with a monumental lack of self-discipline , often leaves me feeling that life is slipping through my fingers.  I am hoping that the process of writing will help me hang onto what I am learning.        

I have been slow to start!  Procrastination, I find, is very closely linked to lack of self-discipline – even now the motivation for making a start comes not from me, but from my daughter.  Several months before moving to Palermo, I met her for a few days in Bangkok, and together we visited a fortune teller at the Wat Po temple.  After examining various charts and perusing the lines on the palm of my hand, he began to say, over and over again: “You should be writing – nothing creative – your material should be what you are doing day to day”.  This struck a chord with me – I had wanted to write ever since I was a child.  Still I did not make a start, but from that day on,  my daughter began saying, over and over again:  ‘Just do it!’  

So finally I take a deep breath and make a start … 

Here’s to her!



7 Responses to “Taking a deep breath – making a start …”

  1. CateM Says:

    Congratulations – you’ve done it! It promises to be a fascinating journey. Thank you for sharing it x

  2. Sally F Says:

    Good on you – I have enjoyed scanning the first few entries – keep it up!

  3. ACS Says:

    Well done on ‘putting pen to paper’ … am following your entries with great interest and loving them.

  4. jan w Says:

    You are living the dream and the prediction. Your writing is a joy and the day to day ‘old fashioned’ diary (now called a blog!) has inspired me, just as I know it has already inspired others. There is nothing like reading the ‘vignettes of life’. I am thrilled to be part of yours.

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