Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Writing Prompt Thursday (#wpthu): 3 May 2012

If this is the first time you've heard of Writing Prompt Thursday, you'll want to visit the #wpthu page on Mindful Living Guide. The page includes: 1) a brief introduction to the Writing Prompt Thursday online community, 2) two super-easy (email address only) subscription forms so that you're automatically kept abreast of all things #wpthu, and 3) information on how to get the embed code for the new #wpthu badge for your own blog or website.

This morning, Richard Matthews, a longtime writing student and dear friend, left a poem on our table Behind the Blue Door prior to leaving for work. He had generously taken Mufidah and me for a grand feast last night at the Pelham Arms to say goodbye before we depart on our Continental travels on 14 May. And he spent the night at our place before driving to work in Tunbridge Wells first thing today, before Mufidah and I were up and about.

The poem he left us follows, presumably written over his morning cuppa tea ...
crow drops off into flight
     from my window view

     feathers pushed backward
     in this little wind
     morning breeze
     cold enough
     to bring something alive

something alive in me
     is it the green tea?

the world is out there
                    getting on

calling me

to be a part with it

     I want to
     want to go         be received
                                      be understood

I love this poem, the Taoist simplicity of it, its being grounded in Richard's present moment as he sat, alone, at our table. And I love the poignancy of the feelings expressed, juxtaposed with simple observations through our big windows which overlook the Lewes High Street, below, and old pigeon-laced buildings across the street.

Today's #wpthu prompt ...

So, today, I'd like you to follow Richard's lead. Sit yourself down somewhere comfortable, perhaps get yourself a cuppa, and just notice the world around you — whether you're sitting at your kitchen table, looking out a favorite window, sitting on a park bench, upon a fallen tree in the woods, or what have you.

Observe what's around you. Use all your senses. Notice the birds, the birdsong, perhaps the springtime mating rituals playing out. But while your paying close attention to the world around you, also notice what you're feeling within.

Go back and reread Richard's poem.

Notice the relationship between his observations without as well as his acknowledging the truth of his feelings within. Notice, too, the sparsity of description. Just enough to bring alive the substantives — the crow, the pigeon, the little breeze.

Finally, allow yourself to become intimate with those outward observations and how they awaken feelings deep within yourself. Notice your connection to the world around you, the lack of any true separation. 

If a poem comes, great. If a prose piece comes, brilliant. Try collapsing this false dichotomy. Let what flows through you and onto the page exist beyond artificial boundaries. These distinctions often do more harm than good.

Enjoy yourself, sink into the noticing, and let the pen meander where it will.

As always with #wpthu, write longhand (it's good to get away from the computer for a while, and to reawaken your writing hand). Nurture a sense of letting go of any creative burden, self-critical judgment, or comparison (with yourself in times past, or with others). Keep your pen moving. And honor, truly honor, whatever flows through you and onto the page. This is great practice in learning to trust in the process.

Roll Call: Are you going to participate in today's #wpthu challenge? If so, and you have a Twitter account, please tweet your intention by clicking on the Retweet button in the below tweet. And if you haven't already done so, you can also Follow Mindful Living Guide:

— Consider sharing, in the comments below, the piece of writing which emanates from today's writing prompt. What was your experience of participating in today's #wpthu? Share your thoughts and feelings, and let us know, too, what you think of Writing Prompt Thursday, generally. And, as always, we'd greatly appreciate your helping us spread word of #wpthu by clicking on any of the below social media share buttons. Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Rubber roars upon the road below. Tires slice through sheets of springtime rain. And we, the two of us, sit Behind the Blue Door considering things yet to be done while our homemade chicken curry dinner simmers upon the stove.

    We spent today in Brighton. One meeting with a client, another as a client. And we sipped flat whites, separately and together, and shared a Vietnamese lunch after walking along the Hove beachfront and stopping into shops along Western Road on our way back to the Lanes.

    After today, there's just ten days 'til our departure, and we notice that some tasks settled, checked off our list, reemerge in sometimes unsettling ways. Decisions past require yet more consideration still, and consume more energy. And scheduled tasks get shifted forward.

    Ten days to go, twenty already past. Two thirds of our way from decision to departure.

    A place where the rubber meets the road, before our own tires, God willing, join the cacophony.