On Saturday 22nd October the workshop was led by Miriam Obrey. Her theme was Creation, and she began by pointing out that according to Archbishop Ussher’s chronology “In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, Gen. 1, v. 1. Which beginning of time, according to our Chronologie, fell upon the entrance of the night preceding the twenty third day of October in the year before Christ 4004.” (my emphasis)
Our first activity was a sort of treasure hunt (20 minutes) in and around the cathedral based on a list of items which was given to us by Miriam. The list included: something large, some minute detail, something absurd, something believable/unbelievable, a colour, an overheard word or phrase, a sound, a smell, a piece of furniture, a name, a part of the cathedral, etc. Finally, we were asked “How do you feel now you have made your list?” We then shared items from our list, many of which provided useful starting points for writing.
Next, Miriam presented some poems to ponder. The first was Soap Suds by Louis MacNeice, and this provided us with the line “And these were the joys of that house” as a starting thought. The second was Absence by Dennis Casling (this from an anthology called Endorphin Angels which is well worth a look). The third poem was No Apples in Eden by John Lyons.
After reading the poems, we were asked to create a phrase by combining a place (part of the cathedral) and an abstract noun, e.g. the cloister of despair, the belfry of delight, the chapel of greed. Good fun and plenty to think about.