Is this the #bloganuary site where I am posting my answer to prompt #25? Or am I repeating it on my JanBeek WordPress site? One way or the other, I want you to be sure and see this response to today’s prompt before the day is over. So, if you haven’t read it already, please check it out:
Missed the prompt yesterday … so here it is a day late… or is it two days? Life’s been busy as we were packing and preparing for this trip to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota . Departure is at 5:55 tomorrow morning! But anyway, here’s my favorite quote. It’s what my mom always told me. But I’m sure it’s not original. Wonder who first said it?
“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt “
Every first and third Friday our Madison County Writers’ Group meets in Ennis, Montana. We may have just two participants, or we could have eight or ten. Last February during our third Friday meeting, there were just two of us. I recently came across my notes from that meeting.
We begin our meeting each time with a prompt we draw from a bag. Anyone can add prompts to the bag at any time. On this particular Friday, Steve drew the prompt, “Writer’s Block.” We had ten or fifteen minutes to write on that prompt and then share with one another what we had written.
I decided to write a Haiku. It ended up as a 5 stanza poem… each stanza a syllabic count of 5-7-5 syllables. What would you have written with the prompt “Writer’s Block”?
Let me share mine with you.
Writer’s Block can trap You and me in wordless haze Floating in nothing
Nothingness can hold You and me in dilemma Pen in hand stands still
Stillness can reveal Treasures in the quietness You just can’t force it
Forcefulness is great If you adamantly feel Thoughts begin to swirl
Swirling thoughts spin out With contemplation and ease The Block disappears
We had so much fun sharing our ideas on Writer’s Block that we decided to draw another prompt. This one was “Words.” We gave ourselves another ten minutes.
This time since I was on a roll with the Haiku rhythm, I wrote a 3 stanza poem. Sharing it later with my husband, Bob, he asked, “What determines if your Haiku is going to be one stanza or 3 or 5?”
“You write what you have to say,” I told him. “When you have said it, you stop. The thoughts dictate the length.”
Here’s what I wrote to the prompt, WORDS:
When words just fail me, I sit back and dream awhile. Dreams don’t have to speak.
When dreams are wordless, My imagination spins – Motivating scenes.
Let pictures emerge. Print them on your mind and soul. Eventually: WORDS!
These kinds of dreams come to us as writers, but they come to painters and potters and musicians as well. It’s a capacity of the human brain that needs to be cultivated.
A productive life is one that can get beyond writers block, can use words to express inner feelings, and can listen with heart to the unspoken words of those around them.
I hope you are a proponent of the kind of arts education that promotes such critical thinking. Let your curious mind fly free.
Be a wise consumer of words and thoughts and dreams! Do you have a Writers’ Group? If so, tell me about it. If not, think about forming one. It’s such fun to share your creative thoughts with others face to face, not just on WordPress.
I belong to the Madison Valley Writers’ Group. We meet every first and third Friday at our local bank’s “Fireside Room” and share our creative efforts with one another. The hour and a half together begins with a writing prompt. It’s a topic we draw from a hat. Any member can anonymously add topics to the hat anytime. The topics are varied – some serious, some silly. Most lend themselves to whatever genre the writer wishes to engage.
For the first fifteen minutes or so, as members gather, we write using a new prompt each meeting. Then we share with one another what we wrote (with the option to “pass” if we wish). My last post titled, “Touch,” was one of the creations from last week’s prompt, “Things That Stimulate Your Sense of Touch.” Another of our members wrote about the itchy feeling of a wool hat – and how much better it feels if it is fur-lined. One member took the topic a step farther and wrote about the effects of touch – i.e. what happens when you touch someone else’s wallet (a fat lip), or what happens if you touch a rattle snake’s tongue (venom). My first poem was short and quick and left me with time to contemplate another kind of touch – not someone touching my cheek or my lips, my heartstrings or my spirit – but the sensation of the soft skin of a baby touching me. Here’s what I wrote:
A Baby’s Touch
There’s nothing in the world
That compares with a baby’s touch –
The soft and cuddly snuggle
On your shoulder, chin and such –
The little hand in yours
As it plucks your heartstrings firmly –
There’s nothing in the world
Like it, stimulating maternal yearning.
The sense of touch is vital
For a baby to thrive and grow.
Babies soon would wither
If love’s touch they never know.
So, as much as I need them,
I know they need me just as much.
There’s nothing in the world
That compares with a baby’s touch.
Think about the prompt that stimulated that poem. Give thought to what kinds of touch are important or stimulating to you. When is the last time you touched another person tenderly? When is the last time someone tenderly touched you? What touches your heartstrings?
I have a friend who had a stroke a couple of years ago. One of the residual effects of her stroke is an “Invisible bubble” around her that defines her “space.” She doesn’t allow others to invade that territory. She doesn’t shake hands – let alone greet her friends with a warm hug the way she used to. She sends off very clear vibes that say, “Stand clear. Don’t come too near.” Do you have an invisible bubble around your personal space? Know anyone like that? How does it feel? Do you think a baby’s touch could permeate that bubble? There’s something so vulnerable, soft, defenseless, and harmless about an infant’s touch.
If only every human touch could be as soft and harmless! Let’s work on that together. There’s nothing in the world like the touch of someone who genuinely loves and trusts you. Let’s foster that kind of world. Touch my world – and I’ll touch yours…