This is another piece that came out of our February writing retreat in Khanom. It's a bit more personal than the things I normally post, but sharing is caring, right? So here's the deal with this letter. The activity was a "movement and writing" exercise. We all went our separate ways for a 20 minute walk, and during the walk made note of (or photographed) three things that stood out to us. After we all returned we pulled a letter prompt and incorporated the three things we recorded into the letter. My prompt was to write a letter to my passion, and the three things I noted on my walk were:
1) Road safety mirror (that helps you see around a curved road)
2) Rooster - Right across the street from the resort was a plan concrete and corrugated steel building surrounded by a grass lot. Truckloads of men were arriving, carrying roosters inside. Despite the love the men appeared to display toward the animals, it turns out this was a cock fight, the roaring from which we would hear for the remainder of the afternoon.
3) An old gas pump on the side of the road.
The following piece was written in response to a Scrabble-style small group writing exercise at our most recent writer's retreat in Khanom. (Check out the main writing page for more info on this exercise and for other exercises and prompts!)
The words we came up with for this exercise were: Both, box, owl, half, hope, sex, sing, nut, oat, told, dorms, PJs, mug, glow, and wig
I remember it, but whether my memory of it matches what it was in reality, I just don't know. In my head, it was a good thing. We both wanted it, and neither of us had had it before. But it wasn't about that, it wasn't just sex, just "busting a nut." Truth be told, I think we were hoping for something else entirely, something profound. It seems silly now, looking back at it. Two kids living in adjacent college dorms, half way to adulthood, thinking that what had finally arrived was real life. When in reality, I still slept in mismatched PJs and his favorite meal was Lucky Charms from a coffee mug. It would be years before we knew the difference between a bread crumb and a rolled oat. We were just kids.
Describe where you are now, using everything but visual description. Cater to those who respond not only to visuals, but to sounds, smells, sensations. I wrote this alongside some of my favorite warriors at our retreat at Leeloo Cabanas this past weekend. Enjoy!
Rumble, tumble, raspy and low. Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, faster, faster, slow. Sky soldiers beating, beating on the world below. With my eyes sewn closed, they all feel cold, sliding slyly down my surface like the slime that lines my nose. A faint scent of smoke fades to the flavor of tomato in my throat.
This is a poem, I suppose, written in response to a prompt at our first ever writing retreat this past weekend. The prompt was to think of of one thing I came across during the day and describe it without using any adjectives (the use of color is allowed). I chose to write about an "iffiffy," which is what my father used to call the little white floating remnants of dandelions. I had just finished talking about him with a fellow warrior when, walking back to my bungalow, I was swept up in a huge swarm of these iffifies that seemed to appear out of nowhere. I smiled and said hello to my old man, and I knew I had found my topic for the prompt.
Chicago-born citizen of the globe, rich in the things that really matter. Let's get weird.