Today dawned bright and sunshiny- well once the fog and my migraine cleared…huge white fluffy clouds interrupted blue as far as the eye could see and the sun warmed faces and and baked in much needed vitamin D. It’s amazing what a day of sunshine can do for the spirits. Our neighborhood crackled with sounds of life and it inspired me to come up with my very own writing prompt.
Today…tell me about a new sound…something that you haven’t heard for a long time or the first time or a sound you aren’t really sure you know…write for ten minutes….GO!
Our neighborhood is alive with new sounds this week. It’s been years since I have heard the amount of life coming from the trampolines and back yards on our street today. The dogs are so keen on it they bark back and forth like prisoners in isolation. Each guarding its own space, but letting the others know with a yelp and a shout what is happening on the other side of the fence or three doors down. Kids are playing, jumping and swinging and brothers yell back at sisters and laughter wafts through the air like the smell of my grandmother’s oatmeal raisin cookies.
It’s a cacophony of voices and laughter and somewhere, maybe a street over, a song or two. The windows of houses have been thrown wide and the songs of the lives inside are thrown out into the world for all to hear. It’s the crazy irony of humanity that in these days of social isolation I have learned more about my neighbors than I would have in the days of everything as normal. The sounds of daily life are a beautiful blessing in the midst of all this unknown. It feels like a sweet reminder that there is normal in the middle of new.
Today’s been long day. Partly because I stayed up too late binge watching crap television, partly because I knew I should be enjoying the sunshine, but couldn’t bring myself to make it outside until almost evening. Partly because I’ve a lot to think about this weekend and I’m wrestling with that when what I really want to do is hug my friends, have coffee and chill on the patio. This wasn’t my best writing. I’ve struggled with the prompt all day honestly, but it is real…so here ya go.
Today’s writing prompt is Fences. Write for 10 minutes.
I’ve never been any good at fences. Boundaries are so hard for me to maintain. I’ve been blessed in the last couple of years to find folks in my life that care enough about me to not only honor the fences I build, but to help me keep them in place. But now, I am faced with a situation that feels so much like a time when I let someone else tear down every fence I built. Without those boundaries, my life was formless. A destructive ooze of lies, and what ifs and someone else’s dreams filled my hours and sucked away all the life. I can’t choose that life again…no matter how promising the offer. But to choose my fences, is to choose life. Is to choose to honor the boundaries that keep my heart safe and stable…is to choose to value the ones in my world who have taught me to care enough about me to hold the lines that circle my world. It is to choose to value me. It’s not an easy decision to hold my fence line…and it is not without consequence, but it is the right one.
Coronavirus Survivor’s Log- Day 4….Hey look, I’m still writing! Two days in a row, that’s a habit right (or something)? Today, Natalie gave a bit of an interesting prompt. What’s your “Third Thing?” She says,
What is the third thing? There is you and there is writing, But you can’t write about writing. It’s ingrown. You and writing must gaze out at a third thing…..What is your third thing? Yes, of course, it can be your memories. Go, for ten minutes.”
From Old Friend From Far Away by Natalie Goldberg
So here goes….my third thing…
What’s the third thing? The thing I’m staring out the window of my soul at right now? For me, it’s this new normal.
What do you call it…all the birdies in the nest, snuggled in and held tight against viruses and plagues and the sky falling on our heads.. Yep, that’s my third thing right now. This brave new world of social distancing and six foot pole greetings and the creeping fear of a silent enemy that may have already breached the concertina wire and hand sanitizer.
It’s crazy how a virus named after the brightest light has brought so much darkness. At the same time to watch the world bind together and do small parts to stay connected and keep everyone safe and healthy puts Peace on the throne of my heart. There’s been so much light to watch and so much air to breathe and it feels like a much needed rest is being imposed on the whole world. Some of us will fight against it like a toddler fights against nap time, but just maybe God’s there, rubbing our backs and singing a lullaby over our over stimulated hearts and minds.
I think maybe rest is actually my third thing after all and it is a phenomenon coming to the entire world at once. What an amazing opportunity to close our eyes and dream.
I’d love to hear your words here….you know since we are all in this together anyway….if you feel like it, I invite you to post your response to these prompts in the comments.
Our world has gone a bit crazy, people are in the aisles hoarding toilet paper and paper towels, every kid is a homeschooler now and the pace of life is beginning to slow to a crawl. In an effort to stay sane and maybe to seize upon the beautiful opportunity we’ve been given to reflect and create and love our families and well, just be. My friend, Kati and I were chatting about how we were muddling through this experience and she brought up writing prompts. I told her I was trying my hand at them again and would share them with her, and she encouraged me to return to this space and share them here. So that I’ll do….for how long- I won’t make any false promises, but for today at least.
This prompt comes from my favorite place to explore memory and memoir- Old Friend From Far Away by Natalie Goldberg. It’s simple….just write….for ten minutes…no editing. The prompt is Storage.
Tell me about a storage unit or someplace you stored things. Write for 10 minutes. Go.
There’s a box that sits on my bedside table that holds the oddest collection of things. I can’t remember where I got it, but the metal hinges are rusted and complain a bit when you swing them open. The dry wood is carved with intricate symbols of a religion that no longer whispers meaning to me. It’s full of interesting odds and ends from a life that seems eons ago. A St Christopher’s medallion blessed by the Pope, dog tags that proudly proclaim my blood type and social security number. There’s a tie tack in there that I was awarded when I left the Army and the silver dollar my great uncle gave me along with my first salute. My 11th BDE belt buckle and challenge coin that used to travel every where with me, even overseas….even into war…lest I be caught without it and challenged by a brother in arms. It smells of sandalwood and patchouli and way too many other kinds of incense and it reminds me of a girl who doesn’t live here anymore. It’s an odd feeling to look back over items of a past life and realize you’re no longer connected to them. But still they sit, in that carved wooden box, on my bedside table.
“Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s write in shades of real and true and unscripted.
Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not.”- Lisa-Jo
If you met me, you might be taken aback by my propensity for hugging…even strangers…right away…I’m from the South, you know? I’d like to think it’s what we do.
We would sit and talk and I would gesture wildly with my hands (I do that when I get really excited…who am I kidding…I just do that.) You might even wonder (as most of my friends do at some point) if I could form sentences without waving my hands about erratically…ummmm….the answer is no.
If you met me we would talk about kids and life and crazy busy workdays and following dreams and living with passion. We would talk about offering every moment as worship worthy of God the Creator of the Universe and Lord of my life. We would talk about making deep connections and how to foster those in the age of Facebook and sitting safely behind a one-way window to the world.
If you met me you might love me, until I put my foot in my mouth or challenged you for an answer on some deeply held belief. I hope you would still love me after I offered a quirky apology for stepping on your heart.
If you met me I would try to understand and view the world through the same lens you do, if for just a little while….striving to understand the world from as many perspectives as possible while holding true to my own.
If you met me we would eat…something wildly healthy, of course, like gluten free vegan lasagna or quinoa with roasted brussel sprouts and pine nuts and then feast our senses on a decadent dessert made with rich chocolate…
If you met me, I pray you would tell me your story and you would hear mine…because that’s really what life is all about anyway.
I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo over at thegypsymama.com for five-minute friday. Why don’t you join us? There’s a giveaway involved. 🙂