I have been looking into schedules. Even when we read physics, we inquire of each least particle, What then shall I do this morning? How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.

On the first of each month, a guest writer shares how he or she spends the day.


June 1, 2015: Judy Pascoe

Many years ago, my sister sent me a book for my birthday. It’s an adorable little book, about five by seven, with a cream cover on which a navy blue tree predominates. I loved it, and have always remembered it. Which is not true for many books thirteen years after reading.

Judy Pascoe envisioned the story of Our Father Who Art in a Tree as a movie. She wrote the screenplay first, then turned it into a novel, which was published by Random House in 2002. Here’s the first sentence.

IMG_3234It was simple for me, the saints were in heaven and guardian angels had extendable wings like Batman and my dad had died and gone to live in the tree in the backyard.

And then in Chapter 2,

It was my dad talking. I think I nodded because it was so exciting to discover what I’d always known. If you climbed high enough in the tree in our backyard you came to another world.

The world suddenly seemed perfect from where I sat. Cupped in the fork of the tree, I felt as if my father were holding me. I remembered him again, not as a dead man buried in anty soil but as a living person. The wind filling his old gardening shirt, making it billow out from the ash gray hair on his chest.

Our Father Who Art in a Tree was the winner of the YoungMinds Book Award 2003.

The story did eventually become a film–The Tree–starring Charlotte Gainsbourg. The Tree closed the Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2010 (post awards) and received a seven-minute standing ovation. These days you can rent The Tree on Amazon. Here’s the trailer:

Judy Pascoe was born in Australia, which is the setting for her debut novel. She worked for many years as an acrobat with Circus Oz before becoming a stand-up comedian in the U.K., where she now lives.

Come back on JUNE 1st to read how JUDY PASCOE spends her days.