A Small Matter of a Pebble

Paul sat down nervously and looked around at the people around him. That he didn't know anyone was hardly surprising. It was, after all, the reason why he had come to this writing group. Having just arrive in Olde just a few weeks before he'd been looking for different way in which he could get to know other people. He'd noticed the writing group in a brochure delivered by the town's tourist office. It was held twice weekly at the cultural centre. He'd toyed with the idea of going a few times, but didn't feel he had what it took to write in a foreign language. His wife, however, had encouraged him and since the cultural centre offered two free sessions before joining, he decided to give it a try.

The building was big, old and wieldy. He shyly pushed his way through the door and looked round. No signs anywhere announced where the meeting would take place, but a young man came up to him with a smile. Before he knew it, he was sitting with a dozen or so other people in a small and cozy room preparing to write.

The same young man who had met him at the door welcomed everyone, so Paul was obviously not the only newcomer. He then distributed some rather large pebbles, and told everyone to write a word on it. The only word that came into Paul's mind was 'nouveau' and he wrote it carefully on his pebble. The pebbles were passed on to someone else. This time Paul was not so happy. However hard he stared at his word, he could make no sense of it. If only, he had a dictionary. He tried asking what the word meant, but was told to write anyway. That sealed it for him. Today would be his first and last visit. But what to write now?

Taking each letter of his word to form a new line he wrote a small poem on what it was like to be writing in a new language about something he didn't even understand. He then read it out loud when it came to his turn. Comments were appreciative. The other participants considered him courageous to be participating in a writing group in a language other than his own. A few other short texts were written and he coped better with those. Afterwards the meeting ajourned to the local pub and before long Paul was beginning to make friends with all and sundry. He decided he would give the group another chance and return for the next meeting. Now, six years later the group is still going strong, and Paul is very much a part of it.


How nice to share your personal experience!

17 April 2009 at 20:41  

for sharing this!

17 April 2009 at 21:43  

It's always good the way things work out aye?

18 April 2009 at 00:25  

Joining a group is a wonderful way to get acquainted, and the writing experience is great too.

18 April 2009 at 05:47  

what a great sense of community! i would love something like that.

18 April 2009 at 09:01  

Enjoyable reading--and full of universal fear and trepidation we all share. Loved the ending. Nicely done.

18 April 2009 at 21:32  

Nicely written to the prompt, informative and interesting post, more of us should get out and meet with other writers.

18 April 2009 at 23:06  

This was wonderful to read...I'm glad things worked out with such a happy ending. This sounds like a group I would love to be a part of.

19 April 2009 at 02:10  

Nice story - start, middle and a happy end! Loved it.

19 April 2009 at 14:38  

This story is well written. I´m left wondering what language and what poem. Good to have a writing group that is still active. I hope you keep writing.

21 April 2009 at 23:59  

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