Beginning the beginning
Hi. Very happy to be here with you on the inside of the inside of a dog (hope I don’t give you indigestion, Inky!).
I plan to spend my time here talking about books and words and reading and writing and poetry and things and stuff, but I thought I’d begin by talking about beginnings.
I’m not very sentimental when it comes to physical things. (Notable exception: books. But they’re in a whole special category of exception, right?). I’m not a minimalist, but I do try and travel light-ish, and don’t get too cut up if I have to leave things behind.
One of the exceptions to this is the stone you see in the picture there. I call it ‘the beginning stone’. It has no value whatsoever to anybody else.
I keep it on my desk, and if I’m stuck on a story or a poem, I pick it up. It’s beautifully smooth. Fits so nicely in my palm.
I have no idea what kind of stone it is. All I know is that it’s small and it’s smooth and I picked it up on the side of the road on the day I started hitchhiking around the UK. I was eighteen, I’d spent the year after high school working in a petrol station to save the money for this trip, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I was about to stick my thumb out and see what happened.
And that’s why I keep this stone. It’s a symbol of both how much the universe can provide for you, if you ask (I made it halfway to Edinburgh that day!), and how much you can find within yourself. If you ask.
I wrote a lot, that trip. Nothing good, but it was the beginning of the beginning.
So now I want to ask you: do you have any special significant object, or turning point in your life? Any beginning you’d like to share?