Pish Posh


A woman said "Pish-posh" to me over the phone last week. I could hardly keep up with the conversation after that. She could have told me that Canadians were crossing a canal in canoes and it wouldn't have mattered because my mind was all over pish-posh. Rolling it around and playing with it as if it were the new dog at the park. It was pretty wonderful if you're fond of words and language.

Several years ago when we lived in Madison, WI a woman asked me what I felt the biggest differences were between Madison and other cities that I had lived in. I thought for a moment and then told her it was the language. Whatever did I mean? she asked. Language in Madison is fairly staid. It isn't nearly as colorful as say, a border town. It's proper, it's correct and that can be refreshing but it isn't what I'd call colorful or elastic.

I like the phrase pish-posh. It reminds me of a little girls tea party. I was a fan of tiny dishes when I was very young. I was a fan of tiny dishes and toy horses and my little turqoise blue typewriter. I wish I still had it. It matched the easy bake oven. I don't miss that so much. We used to pretend to bake (there was no electrical outlet outside) mud pies up in the treehouse, we'd garnish them with leaf hoppers. I didn't know it back then but I was a biological pest control at 7 years of age.

I don't know why I never carried the typewriter up into the trees, probably because it was heavy and awkward and unwieldy, not unlike lugging around a Baby Grand. I could have played Hemingway in Cuba though I doubt he was on my Grade 2 reading list. It's amazing how, even at such a young age, your environment shapes you, you use what you've got. I mimicked the Galloping Gourmet and Julia Childs, I used the material that was available to me - mud and leafhoppers. Now I take images from the past, words from the air and mix them up with this new "typewriter".

Everything around us - memories, words, phrases, images, textures, sounds - it's all there for us to use in our creative lives. I forget how abundant it all is, sometimes I forget that my experiences are there to use in whatever way I choose. I can bend them, re-order them, play with them - like the silly phrase 'pish-posh'. It's here for me to use, so I can enjoy it and then in turn, share it with you.

NaNoWriMo has been a struggle because I either forget how much material I have or I am overwhelmed by how much material I have. I may not finish by the 30th but have enjoyed the time that I've allowed myself to play.  Give your mind the freedom to roam! You never know where it might take you.


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