When I went out for a walk this morning, it was strangely quiet except for the occasional caw of a crow in the distance and the gentle dry rustling of the phragmites at the edge of the marsh whenever a slight breeze would whisper through them. As I walked and walked, I noticed that the outer stillness of the morning had become an inner stillness within me, a gap between thoughts, to-do lists, and all the other chatter that usually goes on in the mind. The noticing, of course, became a thought, and the babble came pouring back in.
A small stone from this morning’s walk.
through the old doorway
on wisteria vines
the crunch and slide
under my barefoot shoes
reflected on muddy water
a day at the beach
The photo was taken on my recent trip to the Canadian Maritimes at Dennis Beach in New Brunswick. I altered the photo, giving it a painting-like effect, in FotoSketcher. I’ve had it sitting here as my desktop image for a few days and every time I look at it, I hear and feel the crunch and squeak of rocks underfoot as I carefully make my way across the larger rocks down to the sand where walking is much easier. The “barefoot shoes” are Vibrams which simulate barefoot walking. You feel everything underfoot without the ouch factor of actually being barefoot.
moving slowly from image to image
soaking up, breathing in, captivated by
the light and color of art
on a gray and snizzling day
a marvelous way to wile away an afternoon
as we sail through the January Doldrums
on our way to the February Funk
Day 27. “Snizzling” is not a word (that I can find on any online dictionary). It’s what I call a mixture of snow and a rainy drizzle.
Lately writing has felt like hitting a brick wall.
I sit at the table staring out at the darkness waiting for the pond to appear and listening to the rhythmic patter of the rain on the roof, avoiding today’s writing topic of “Shapes like stars,” and wondering how anyone can come up with such prompts. What does that mean? A car whizzes by and the house heat kicks on with the usual drone and hum, warm air swirls around my feet. I put the pen to paper, to the brick wall, seeing the worn rusty color of each brick, the mortar that holds them together, the nooks and crannies and dings. I think about the brick wall we built last summer. Mortar, made with cement. I write: “Marilyn Monroe was shaped like a star and has a star on a sidewalk to show for it.” The bricks begin to crumble and fade as I write about those posing as the shapes of stars, and somehow journey in writing towards the miniature suns that appear on the waves of the water on a sunny day, and find my words in the shapes of stars.
I’m occasionally using writing prompts from A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves. I think the one I used this morning (“shapes of stars”) is for the 10th of January or thereabouts. I haven’t been using it daily as there are mornings when I prefer to empty out with morning pages or I spend time working on my small stone for the day. I don’t want to skip any of the prompts so it is going to take me more than the usual year to work my way through the book and prompts. I’ve noticed that those I find challenging and/or like the least tend to be the prompts that make me dig deeper.