Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Write: What Do You Have?

Exercise:  Set ten minutes to look around you, noticing the items and things that surround you.  Make a list of those items.  Once you are done with your list, go back and quickly right down an association for each item.  Write what it means to you, a spark of meaning, a correspondence, a moment of memory. 

Take another ten minutes and choose one item to include in your writing.  It could be the associations with the item.  Or the item could be a random item in the room.  Or the item could be the whole of the writing.  Just write.

TV - too much time
Lamp - light in darkness
Couch - worn
Coffee table - survivor
Plants - growth
End table - sturdy
Gnomes - spirits
Bookshelves - knowledge
Handmade mug - welcoming home
Child's art work - pride and beauty
Unpacked boxes - procrastination, old life

The shelves are overflowing.  Two layers of paper on top of each other, two rows of books on one shelf.  Each occupant is snugged against it's brother with care, lovingly worn at the corners and binding.  Each one has a story to tell, a voice of their own. 

My fingers glide over the bindings, following the flow of letters.  This one, this one was great.  That one made me cry.  And that other one, that's the one that kept me laughing all night.  Each story is a piece of my own.  Each piece a thread in the tapestry of my life, and your life, and the life of those yet to come.

Down beneath it all.  Beneath the titles and the authors, beyond the characters and settings, underneath everything, runs a joining thread.  The same stories play out over ages and civilizations.  But each is unique in the trappings and characters, but they all run together in the end.

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