Today I’m not responding to a prompt. Today it’s just me, the words, and an empty page. Guess I’m going back to basics. At least it could be seen that way. I’m not really sure of what I’m going to write about. Just know I want to write. Take a moment, breathe, relax and reflect. I do that best on paper. It’s a lot like going home.
But, that would seem to say that I’ve been away, somewhere else, doing other things. And in a very real sense, I have been, even though I have written every day. Sometimes poetry, but not much prose of late. And I have been coloring again.
I sort of stopped doing that for several months, just before my Mom passed away and even more afterward. The colors got muddy for a while, reflecting my own inner attempt to adjust to a landscape that now held a rather large hole near its center. And in true human, life fashion, I was looking for something to fill that hole. That’s when I stumbled onto the prompts.
They were, for me, quite perfect. They were new but familiar because they were writing, simply following the words, there in the prompt itself. They gave me a direction, kept me busy doing something I love to do, but were a constant challenge to continue. Of course, they didn’t fill up that hole. Nothing really could, but they kept me moving, gave me a focus for my energies.
Then, about a month and a half ago, life stepped in (it has this strange tendency to do that), and called a brief halt to all this activity. Slammed me with a bit of reality that had to be attended to. A bit of a problem with my heart and a flood of memories and flashbacks. And the prompts helped with that as well, but fear has a tendency to slow ones steps, and it did that, too.
At least enough for me to catch my breath and take a better look at what I have been doing. That in turn, led me to questions. A lot of those questions found their way into my journal, with some rigorous attempts to find answers. Journals are very good at creating a time for reflection, but also for creating a different definition of that word. A reflection can be a mirror image of self, and that was what I found. As well as a lot more questions, lol.
Not at all surprising, seeing as I am a person who has always asked a great deal of them. Curiosity can be, and is, a way a life for many. It has always been so for me (often to the frustration of those around me). And so it began: What is it I’m looking for in all of these words, all of the writing, the prompts, doing the responses, making comments about the responses of my fellow prompt circuit followers? Where is this taking me? Do I really want to go wherever that is leading?
Then came the big question: Is all of this satisfying my soul? And, as usual, the answer was both Yes and No. Yes, because it was reestablishing my primary love of words, whether that be with poetry or prose. No, because it was making me aware that there were other things I wanted to do, larger projects that couldn’t be accomplished if I continued to respond to the ongoing round of the prompts. But, more importantly, it was forcing me to find home. That place with a huge hole in it.
In looking for ways to respond to some of the prompts, I had gone in search of old files of writing. Files set aside long ago, but now uncovered because I was looking for new ideas. New places to explore, new paths for the words and where they might take me.
What I found were two major paths I could follow. One was an old attempt to write a fiction story, the other was a partial journal my Mother kept for a short time. One is definitely prose, the other is definitely poetry. But both are major undertakings and would consume a great deal of energy and time. Both are inviting paths for curiosity and exploration.
One would be a new avenue to explore, the other would involve lots of memory and looking at the past. But, and this is an important realization, they would definitely inform one another because of their specific topics. And then there are the prompts. Can I possibly juggle all of this and actually remain somewhat sane?
Good thing I don’t have to make a decision right now, today. I do have some ideas, but all of it has to wait on the results of a major invasive medical procedure I have to face next Tuesday. Have to admit, I want to do all of it. Not the procedure, but that is a necessity. The writing is home. It’s that place that means all those things that the word home entails. And more.
It is that space that is mine alone. That one where life happens, unfolds but holds my story, my soul, my satisfaction. As well as that hole I previously mentioned. The one that I must explore in order to continue breathing.
It is the prompts that have brought me here, to this place I need to be. Given me the words to follow, like bread crumbs that have brought me home. And that thought unleashes so many others. Sets them free to find their own way to be, and to become, home.
Author Note: This started out as a free write. It was a definite step away from the prompts. Yet, in the end brought me right back to the prompt for today at Writers Island. The prompt is the word Unleash. Think I’m being given a message? The prompt and all the wonderful thought provoking responses can be found here: http://writersisland.wordpress.com/