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Writing 101 Day Five A Red Letter Day

Day Five: Be Brief

Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Pearl walked on, hating her mother and her miserable life. Rev. Arthur would be waiting. Wind compounded the morning chill. Trudging along, a crumpled envelope danced by. She chased and caught it. Why? What did she want with a soggy letter? Noticing it was half opened, curiosity overcame her. Who could it hurt? The red ink was smeared. What she deciphered made her queasy.

Dear H,

My time grows short…

Indebted to your sacrifice…

Served my church… Love always, “A.”

Struggling to digest the contents of the letter, her cell rang. Hester blinked on the screen.  Pearl dropped the phone.

Geography of Place

In Writing 101 today’s assignment is: Choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

“If only there were time enough or word enough or rhyme enough, I would take you there.” Harry Nilsson

How many words have been written to evoke the ideas of place and what it means to us?  Who am I, (an unworthy writer) to describe the place I want to go? Despite my disclaimer I will do what I can to take us there.

In this place, the sun pours in, creating a feeling of warmth and calls up the appearance comfort. How does comfort appear? On a  creamy white plate, It is fresh baked just buttered. Little pools of sun shining on a raft. Through an open window light streams in, lulling me to relax. As if someone extended an irresistible invitation, like the sand at water’s edge on your feet. The perfect mix of coolness on your feet and warmth on your back. A hint of a breeze dancing on your face.

When I am in this place I feel complete surrender and the willingness to engage with all my surroundings. Mind, body and spirit are one. I am completely at home in myself and the world around me. Like a chilled glass of water, I breathe deeply and drink it in. It is the place where sunflowers wave to me in the wind and clocks stop. Although I’ve pictured many images that call summer to mind, in this place, weather doesn’t matter. I could be standing in a soaking rain, but not feel it, or feel it and enjoy it. I am weightless here and held completely by the feelings of strength. It is as if someone is holding me and I trust them so much that I can melt  into the security they offer. I know they will accept and carry me, enveloping me like a warm sweater.

Like Dorothy, we can all go there. How we get there may not be by clicking our heels, but it is a place many of us yearn for.  It is where we are most at home. If I had my choice I would stay there most of the time, but I resign myself to the times I must leave, because those times heighten my feelings of wanting to get back there as soon as I can. When I am stressed or feel the heavy cloak of fear choking me, I go back there, calling up some of the images I’ve shared. While I think of it as my actual home at times, what it really is, is that feeling of being comfortable and having a place in the world. It is love, but love is so many things to so many people I cannot begin to say what it is for each reader.  For myself, I know it is this nearly indescribable feeling that fills me with joy and purpose. It is the feeling of acceptance, trust and harmony.

Because music is often my vehicle for arriving at this place I’ve included links to a couple of songs that take me to this place. I’d love to know what takes my readers to this place so please share your songs, images or memories of home/love/acceptance, should you choose to comment.

“And it’s my mind, and there’s no time when I’m alone.” Lennon and McCartney