Please allow me a short break from my usual post. In my creative writing course, we were asked to do an exercise called Riffing. We were given a list of 72 random words and were asked to turn them into a prose poem, a poem, or the beginnings of prose. We were asked to write non-stop, so we could experience flow. The exercise was intended to help us recognize where language performed a challenging act of flight into a new place that was unique to us.
Shortly before starting the exercise I had been working on a blog post, which influenced what I saw in those 72 random words. In the spirit of this blog — where discoveries about oneself often involve stepping outside of one’s comfort zone — I decided to share what I wrote. Below is the edited version of my Riff. I hope it touches you in some way.
Window to my soul.
Spiders crawling in to the dark places.
Shadows disappear in the light.
Look for the light inside.
Have the strong roots of a tree.
Branches break, but the tree lives.
Wind storms, can’t knock over a tree that has solid roots.
Discard, what is now brittle and dead.
Gardens flourish when fed.
Accept the bowl of knowledge, even if you don’t like the bowl.
A bowl is just a vessel.
All new thoughts need a vessel.
Accept what you can.
Return with gratitude.
Look for the rose.
Without thorns, there are no roses.
Stones can trip you or they can be markers on your path.
Trust the river.
Don’t try to map out your life.
Listen to the music of your soul.
Go up the hill.
Run up the hill.
Go around each corner, even blind corners.
Relax in the river and let it guide you.
You will not break.
Cracks are okay.
Scars on your psyche heal.
Rain washes away everything.
Birds can sing in the shadows.
Basements have light bulbs, basements have stairs.
Feel the fire.
Fan the flames.
Live a powerful life.
Spin like a little girl.