Friday, October 23, 2009

Characters in Your Life

Activity: (This should take about 10 minutes to complete)

Write a list of the most influential people in your life. They could be your family, friends, community members or school teachers.

Imagine that person. Think about a time that symbolises what that person means to you.

Draw/ sketch/doodle/write notes about that person. Whatever you do, allow the memory of them to come into your mind.

When you are ready, write about that person and the memory of them that comes to mind.

Modelled response
My grandfather sat on the verandah, watching over his hoard of grandchildren who descended on his quiet lawn every summer. For years he had watched us with that half smile, frown that I had inherited from him.

The call had been made by my boisterous cousin, the one who with the wicked temper chased my brother up the street the day before for telling him he could not ride a bike to save himself. All the kids chased after the two of them, my brother being too quick, thankfully, avoiding another almighty display of roguery on the quiet suburban streets.

The call echoed through the house. I dropped my toast on the table, beside the plate, and raced to the front lawn to be the first on one of the two bikes. To the lake, the chanting grew as the momentum for the adventure sunk in. I roughly picked up the handle bars and while in motion, jumped onto the seat. I rode low on account of the youngest cousin being the last to use it. My knees pushed up beside my torso as I struggled to move past the letter box at the end of the concrete driveway.

I zig zagged my way out of the street across the neighbour’s front lawn, turning back to see my cousins flying out the front door, jumping over the verandah, crashing into the small garden my grandmother tended meticulously.

My grandfather laughed, elated by the excitement. My grandmother stood half way in between the creaky screen door, with a tea towel in one hand, calling out to leave her precious garden alone. More grandchildren rushed passed her following the same route as the last.

I out in front, peddled madly, turning constantly to ensure they had not made enough ground to catch up to me. I knew the drill, first to be immersed in the lake was the winner and everyone else was a rotten egg. Having been a rotten egg many times before, this was my chance.

By this stage I was out on my own, not a relative in sight. I arrived at the foot of the lake, swung the bike from under me, ripped of my smock and dived into the water.

When I came to, in front of me was a black swan, bobbing up and down in the water like a buoy, disturbed by my sudden entry into the water. Its rounded body glossed in the sunlight, an oily black of beauty and serenity. Above the mound of its belly a tiny patch of red baked in the sunlight.

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