7:40 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to Soolaimon by Neil Diamond — it’s a little early to be bopping in my chair, but this is what the cloud gave me; you try not dancing to this!
Hello lovely people. Excuse the rush of emotion; I’ll beat it back into its cage before the next post, but I’m excited still from my celebrations on Sunday. Who knew turning sixty could be such fun? I’m also excited because in four days we head towards Christmas, a giant family celebration at my mother’s.
How appropriate. James Taylor is singing That Lonesome Road. Speaking of roads, think how many you have traveled down in all your years. Think of how many you didn’t travel down. Spend some time thinking about all the forks in your road, both literal and metaphorical.
What are you looking for? All the times you stopped at a point in your life and had to choose one way over another, to keep traveling. The choices can be as far back, or as recent, as you wish. Ask yourself not why you chose to go down one path, but why you did not choose to go down the other. Ask yourself what might have happened if you had chosen the other. Speculate. Fantasise. Think of the big things and the small.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
As with Robert Frost’s speaker, has a choice, or choices, ‘made all the difference’ to your life?
This is one of those topics that is often helped by drawing, so feel free to rough out a map. I find it a tremendous help, because I can see decisions in order, in time, in relation to each other. I can jot sensory images and details on the paper and sometimes I can see a poem developing.
The poem does not, ultimately, have to be about you. You are using what you come up with as material. You might want to write about moments of decision; or, a fantasy about a road not taken; or, the whys of choosing some roads over others. Consider writing in the third person. Even if you initially write in first person, try the poem with the other. I am often surprised. For a very good article on the subject of point of view, check writer Sandra Beasley on ‘Risk & Point of View‘.
I look forward, as always, to seeing what appears. I shall be seeing you Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts, but then I will be dark until January 3rd. I know. I consulted my stress metre, my husband, my kids, my mother, everyone, and decided to have a two-week holiday [okay, two and a half weeks]. Yes, I shall miss you. I always miss you when I take time off. Enough mushiness. Go write.
Happy writing, all.