Saturday, April 29, 2006

I'm constantly amazed at the high proportion (for the UK) of writers I come across who, like me, have had a Catholic upbringing or schooling. I haven't seen any research on this but I guess it's due to a number of factors. Firstly, the rhythm and music you almost inhale in those services, but secondly, I wonder if it's down to the fact that, with so much set in stone, the baby writer learns how to question at an early age. I never forget how when we were being taught about what you could and couldn't do on a Sunday at my convent school, asking what you should do if a really nasty insect crawled over your plate when you were eating. The answer, I was told, was that you cover it with a glass and kill it on Monday. Some kind of logic there, I suppose, but one that makes me shiver still.

What made me think of all this is that today's 'poem' from The Writer's Almanac is the ten commandments. Reading them made me think of another reason my religious schooling might have helped me become a writer, and that was the importance given to words in my education. Not only that, but actually being forced to learn them by heart too. This morning, I got hit by a sudden memory of crying wildly in class once because I could only remember eight of these:

The Ten Commandments

I. -Have thou no other gods but me,
II. -And to no image bow thy knee.
III. -Take not the name of God in vain:
IV. -The sabbath day do not profane.
V. -Honour thy father and mother too;
VI. -And see that thou no murder do.
VII. -Abstain from words and deeds unclean;
VIII. -Nor steal, though thou art poor and mean.
IX. -Bear not false witness, shun that blot;
X. -What is thy neighbor's covet not.

-These laws, O Lord, write in my heart, that I,
-May in thy faithful service live and die.

And my writing prompt for today is going to be ... 'shun that blot'.


Debra said...

I'm another of those writers who was brought up a catholic, but I always thought it was my somewhat aethiest mother who turned me into a writer

Sarah said...

Interesting. I suppose that might go back to the questioning bit. Who knows though... maybe we were born writers, Debra?!!!!