Searching for direction
current location: In my mind
current mood: curious
“Still stuck, Radish-cakes?” Daddy asks as he pulls some stubborn roots from the ground.
I kneel beside him in the earth above Ness Keep. The earth is hard from being trodden down by the thestrals, Tripod, Colin, and me. I set down the trowel and reach into it to break the clusters into soft soil. “Yes. How did Mum become inspired for her inventions?”
He rocks back onto his heels when I ask him this. “Do you know, I think it was different every time. Sometimes she was inspired when we were gardening. Sometimes it was when she looked at you. Sometimes it was while we were at the shore or planting squash or lying underneath a beech tree or eating breakfast.”
I sprinkle fish-bone meal into the soil and use the trowel to work it in. “So it wasn’t one thing she did,” I note, disappointed. I had hoped that there was some secret.
“No, it wasn’t,” he agrees.
“I just don’t know what else I can do,” I sigh. “I’ve tried lying by the brook. I’ve taken broomrides. I’ve watched people. I’ve met with friends. I’ve asked people. Nothing has worked.”
“What sort of things do you want to invent?”
“Things that help people. The Purely Educational was meant to help with studying, but that turned out to be good only for intimacy.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Daddy points out.
“No, there isn’t,” I agree, “but it didn’t help in the way I had hoped. Then I was going to do the memory ribbons for studying, as I needed them myself to hear what the professor said in class. That turned into regular books instead.”
“And that’s helpful.”
“Yes, in a different way,” I agree. “And I tried to make a lozenge for subject-specific recall, but it’s so far beyond my current abilities.”
Daddy reaches into a box with his earth-darkened hands and pulls out a small bulb. “Luna-berry,” he says contemplatively, “let me ask you a question.”
“If somebody asked you what you would like them to invent that would be helpful to you, what would your answer be?”
“Well…” I poke my finger into the earth to make a hole and drop a seed in. “Well…what would be helpful now…for me…would be something that would clear my creativity-block. But it isn’t for me,” I explain.
“Perhaps, but you aren’t the only creator in the world, my brilliant girl.”