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Even In Boring Places...

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
I’d been thinking about what people (me) may class as boring places e.g. country villages, departure lounges, Villa Park, comedy clubs etc when I realised that if approached with a different mindset then even these awful spots could produce something of value.

To give an idea of what I mean let me take you back fifteen years and a trip to Prague. It was a delightful long weekend with friends and we had a wonderful time strolling around that beautiful city. We didn’t spend all that time together and one of my treats was to go off to the Norodni Museum. I had been looking forward to this and bounded up the red carpeted staircase to the Entrance Hall for the start of my tour.Even In Boring Places...
But, oh dear, this was not what I had expected. The exhibition rooms led off the Hall and housed a vast array of exhibits, including natural history collections where exhibits include fossils, rocks, gemstones and stuffed extinct animals. But all the exhibits were displayed in such a way as to drain all enthusiasm back down those stairs. Room after room after room of wooden drawers with pinned butterflies and glass cases of gems after wooden drawers of pinned moths and glass cases of something I didn’t care about any more.But here’s the point. It doesn’t matter if the place, person or thing has disappointed you if you can use it later as a means to create a poem or a story. These are parts of a poem which goes on a bit but is based on my visit to: Norodni Museum, Prague
Agate Borax Calcite Lead
Feldspar Dolomite Pitchblend Talc
Zircon Lazulite Kernite Copper
Halite Howlite Hypersthene
Rhodonite Hafnon Datoline
Inasite Enstatite Psilomelane
Kyanite Carnotite Alabaster
Rutile Andesine Chalcedony
Copper Silver Magnetite...
It goes on to cover sections on Rocks, Minerals, Gems, Meteorites, Ammonites etc. But ends up with finding a temporary exhibition on Waters of the World which was terrific.
I wouldn’t mind betting that many of the Dead Good Blog readers are also writers, so I don’t want be seen as trying to teach you to suck eggs (where did that expression come from?) but we are very fortunate that we can take something like that bad experience at a museum and turn it into something that we are rather pleased with.So, if the place you are in seems a little tedious, then I suggest you jot observations down into the notebook that you always have with you for just such a purpose. It may instantly lighten your mood by knowing that you will sooner or later be getting something out of it. And, of course, the pen is mightier than the Molybdenite.I have to say that the second most least interesting place in Prague was the museum mentioned below. But again something happened, so stick with it in Prague. Something always happens.
Even In Boring Places...
Smetana’s Spectacles in the Smetana Museum, Prague
It was too hot for this,
the air felt heavy,
an extra layer
worn like frock coats
in the photos on the wall.
Downstairs the entrance
was being cleared of
bottles and cigarette ends
while up here the staff
eased into the day.
A day of four walls
and lots of pictures,
prints of Smetana,
sketches and letters,
drafts of letters,
manuscripts of music,
drafts of manuscripts of music,
programmes, programme changes,
the air felt heavy with words,
it was Museum.
Then a woman put down a cup
drew back curtains
and opened the windows,
suddenly the sun was light,
the sound of the river
was the sound of movement,
notes streamed off the pages
until I spotted those minims
trapped in a cage
and I wanted to set them free.
Smetana’s spectacles
all that was there of the man,
glasses like mine,
making sense of our worlds
bringing me back to my senses
and the irony of Ma Vlast
losing its frontiers
while stag nights
are drinking away freedom
in the bars of Wenceslas Square.

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