Writer’s Island prompt #14 “Just Around The Corner”
Have you ever had an itch deep inside of your ear? Hard to satisfy it, isn’t it? No way to get at it, nothing fits, or is appropriate for the rubbing or scratching that will satisfy it, make it calm down and fade away. So, you find yourself rubbing the outer edges, and all that accomplishes is to make the itch even more pronounced.
Yesterday, when I went to check out the prompt on Writer’s Island, the minute I saw the prompt, I heard a whisper at my inner ear. It was another phrase, in my mind, and I knew that was the opening line for a poem I wanted to write. It took some work. Just because the first line fell with ease, didn’t mean I automatically knew where the rest of the poem was going to go, or even what it was about.
Where it went was back to when I was fifteen, and a person I haven’t thought about in at least twenty years, if not more. I had to work with the piece and was having some difficulty with the unwieldiness of the subject matter. I stopped for a while, to chat with a friend. Somewhere in our discussion, I figured out how to make the poem work. Went back to it and finished, then posted it on the Soul’s Music site. I was satisfied.
But the itch at my inner ear wasn’t. The phrase, the prompt: Just Around The Corner kept right on whispering to me. And although I shook my head numerous times, explored other possible meanings, it just wouldn’t go away, wouldn’t settle back, relax, or fade into the nether world from which it came. It was persistent.
Just around the corner is another world. When I was a child, it meant the intersections on both ends of the block on which we lived. We were not allowed to cross those intersections without explicit permission and a time allotted for return. What was just around the corner was mostly out of reach unless one complied with the rules set up for ones own safety. To do otherwise was to risk being grounded for several days or more, and who wants to waste summer vacation in that manner?
As we grew, just around the corner became a bit more freedom. A decided move away from home base. But it also meant more responsibility in an enlarged world waiting for discovery. There were always cautions administered softly but clearly. So much so, that just around the corner also entailed a bit of fear about the unexpected, right along with the bright promise of adventure and exploration. It always meant some risk. Risks I gladly took in order to satisfy that other itch of curiosity.
I, somewhat lazily and casually, mentally explored all of that during the day yesterday, in an attempt to get rid of that whisper tickling my inner ear. But to no avail, it still persisted. Found myself, mentally swatting at it, amidst the other activities I was engaged in, as though it were no more than some pesky fly, certainly out of season, and lacking any reason for its insatiable need to bug the hell out of me.
Finally went to bed and slept with no more than a few dream fragments that promptly dissipated upon awakening. But as soon as I turned on the computer and pulled up the next blank page of my journal, there was that pesky fly again. Okay, I admitted defeat, went right back to the beginning, which was that opening line to the poem. Just around the corner in my mind. I wrote in far more detail of that time period in my life.
Didn’t really care where it went, I was just filling in the page and it was a topic with which I could do whatever I wanted. And did. About three-quarters of the way down the page, I found the gold mine that pesky fly had been trying to get me to see the entire time. All the pieces fell in place. Long unanswered questions were finally answered clearly and with details. My life experience, only hinted at in the poem, suddenly became one whole thread, instead of the myriad of pieces caught in various, but separate, still life moments that it had been. Ker-chunk and Eureka all in one moment.
That pesky fly was no more. It had magically metamorphosed into a stunningly beautiful butterfly free to flit from one connection to the next, gathering the pollen of association and depositing it just around the corner in my mind, that one place that had been prepared over the years, to receive it, honor it, and become its rightful place in the order of things. Talk about satisfaction.
Just around the corner is still a risk and a freedom. Still entails a bit of fear, right alongside the promise of new adventure. But just around the corner, will also now mean, just around the turn of the next page, the next word, the next pesky fly that buzzes at and tickles my inner ear. Does it get any better than this? You and I won’t know unless we turn to that next blank page and scratch that itch that is tickling our inner ears.