Posts Tagged ‘#prompt3’

Day 3: I know where I live…

October 10, 2018

Day 3: I was living in the forest…. I know where I live… Here’s how I live in the desert…

It’s the same place — the same room. What’s changed? Its undeniably different. I’ve changed. Eyes open and I am numbingly awake but can’t see. Lights on. Suddenly, lights off. This is real loss. Locks are changed and I am chained in this lightless bleak, black basement room at night with a smashed lamp and shattered glass at my feet.

What was loss before was nothing. The loss of the car keys or that wadded up twenty dollar bill. Where did it go? The loss of the friend who stop texting or the love who stop calling, those losses were so insignificant. The death of our beloved cat, Night. She was suave, elegant and black, except for a patch of white on her chest. I found her on a frosty breathed morning, in the gutter; she was struck by a car and from the stiffness, had been there for some time. We buried her in the back yard. Theses were baby losses. Like someone taking a jangly, brightly colored toy out of my drool drenched hands. They were the dimming of a lamp in the room, the drawing of sinuous, velvety drapes.

On the loss of his wife, Jason Rosenthal writes, “ loss is loss is loss.” This struck a tuning fork of truth in me. Loosing car keys is loss. Unrequited love is loss. Sharing epitaphs and tears over your feline friend’s fresh mound of dirt is loss. She was a good cat. But the room is now suffocating. Akin to pottery in a gas kiln firing in reduction — some things are unpredictable and suck the oxygen right out of the room. Some losses not only turn off the switch but topple the lamp and take the lightbulb and smash it as they leave.


Day Three

Today’s prompt is about living in a changed world, finding ways to live in the changed world:

“I was living in a rainforest. I knew the trees and the frogs, the lush green life. With no warning, I got shoved into the desert. I know this is the desert. So take back your plastic palm trees and your cups of water; quit telling me it’s the same. I know better. I know where I live.”

Megan Devine, from my collected journals.

The desert has many teachings

In the desert, turn toward emptiness,
fleeing the self.

Stand alone, Ask no one’s help,
And your being will quiet, Free from the bondage of things.

Those who cling to the world, endeavor to free them;
those who are free, praise.

Care for the sick, But live alone,
Happy to drink from the waters of sorrow, To kindle Love’s fire
With the twigs of a simple life.

Thus you will live in the desert.

– Mechtild of Magdeburg, excerpted in Jane Hirshfield’s  Women In Praise of theSacred.

How do you live in a landscape so vastly changed? Write from any line in the above pieces, or start today’s writing with one of the following:

I was living in the forest….
I know where I live…

Here’s how I live in the desert…