Just write today. It doesn’t matter what. Just write.
The candle rests on top of the closed notebook and the morning pages go in here. This morning I am rushed and a bit shot through with panic; the dreams all lifted me into worry. What kind of sleeping is that?
What are last night’s dreams offering you this morning?
Today I will meet and talk and work mostly away from the computer. In the evening I will be with my cousin, and I will remember what blood is for. This morning I feel both tangled and loosed, like a collection of live wires all knotted up. This is what transition feels like, right? These are growing pains — this is me digging into my own potbound rootball, tearing up what hasn’t had air or food or enough room to grow. Today I feel like everything–all my ambition and desire — is hanging out, too visible, too naked.
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The first writing prompt we used at Dive Deep Deux was this Charles Olsen poem:
“Whatever you have to say, leave
The roots on, let them
And the dirt
Just to make clear
Where they come from.”
And here was my write in response (we took about 8 minutes):
Where they come from. They come from the hard snare of a brainwashed adolescence, I mean the untanglings of a girlchild made to ask to swallow her own tail, to consume her own breaths, to sever and calcify and slow her own heartbeat. These untethered words hang heavy with that girl’s teethmarks, they are just loosening from the shape of her throat / still wanting to make her proud, make her nod her head and say “that’s it” – that 12 year old that 15 year old that 20 year old weeping in a dark corner of nowhere special, certain that a lifetime for her meant the bound limbs and padlocked carapace that a man who meant to start a cult had shaped for her. This is what hangs steady and quiet from these words today: her bloodied fingers. I want a prettier image, I want the dense fragrance of soil just torn from my own inside hedgerow, but the truth is that she is still hanging on to so many of these stories, twenty years later she still does not want them told. She still yanks away in fear at our speaking them aloud, our relinquishing the power of our own secrecy – she holds them tight, she does not let go easy.
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Give yourself some time with that prompt today — take those 8 minutes (or 20!) and let the pen begin; just notice what wants to come, what arises in your writing self when you read Olson’s poem. Follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go.
Thank you for your deep breaths today, for your determination to do the impossible, to be fully in this life. Thank you for your generosity of spirit, and thank you for your words.
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