Here in Portland, Oregon, we were experiencing a dense freezing fog. I got to hear foghorns from the Willamette and Columbia rivers for the first time in my 6 years here. So my first prompt was:
When fog rolls in and distant things are blurred, what is it that glows in the soft light of your small circle of vision?
Now looking back at it, it seems a clunky and wordy prompt. I realized if I was going to send out prompts, I ought to at least try to use them myself. After a night of insomnia and a morning of no ideas during my writing time, I used my prompt. This is what I came up with -- nothing polished or poetic, but a short meditation on life:
When I was a younger writer, I read the quote by E. L. Doctorow, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
It seemed to me even then that all life was like that and you had to have faith that something better was out there in the cloaked future.
Walking in the frozen fog at night with my husband, I was struck by how soft the light was, how still everything seemed. We were in a circle of muted light and blurred vision. Our familiar neighborhood was disguised as an eerie and cold place, but we held hands and marveled at the strange beauty that had fallen around us.
Life is always changing and what we have today we may not have tomorrow. We have lost loved ones. We are losing some of our sight and some of our hearing. I’ve lost the ability to run or even walk well. I almost never have a day without pain. So much of the world and future seems bleak and incomprehensible – and yet there is so much beauty. We see it sparkling in the dim light around us. We are eager to continue the journey.
In the small circle of vision, in the midst of fog, I realized what I valued most was not, in fact, my physical senses, my health, or even my security; it was the sense of adventure I have about life, and the appreciation for mystery. And of course, the love I share and receive. The warmth of a hand to hold as I walk into unknown.
|Pencil practice from last year|
So a prompt a week might be a good thing for me. What say you?