7:56 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to Home From the Forest sung by Gordon Lightfoot
Hello, all. I am back from an exhilarating four days with our son, his wife, and our grand-daughter who is the bees knees. They live in one of Vermont’s many tiny urban areas [really, it’s a village], surrounded by the countryside — yes, the leaves were gorgeous. That leads us into our prompt. No, not the leaves, but urban versus rural.
The novel Once Upon a River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell, emphasises ‘landscapes liberating wildness‘. For our purposes, landscape is an expanse of rural scenery, usually extensive, that can be seen from a single viewpoint. Landscape implies few, if any, buildings. While it does not cover the sea because, well, it’s land, I often see it used inclusively.
Wherever you are, picture a landscape, or several landscapes, and jot notes on how you feel, or what you think, about those scapes. If you need visuals trawl through Google’s images — their choices are interesting. I caught myself mentally putting together a Pinterest board and realised my choices of landscape would differ from Google’s collection.
Okay? Thoroughly inhabiting your feelings about non-urban places? Here’s my question for you: Do you try to escape civilization or to make peace with it? Didn’t expect that, did you?
Having made you inhabit landscapes for a while, you may, of course, write about the ‘liberating wildness’ and what that means to you (or your speaker, if you decide to present another point of view). If you go this way, you might allude to the confinement felt in so-called civilization.
Or, you can focus on civilisation as a cage, something that blocks freedom — what freedoms are inhibited is up to you.
Or, you might see wide open spaces as the inhibitor. You might want to write about the liberating freedom of Costco, or a mall, or downtown, places with plenty of people and things.
I realise I’m giving you a somewhat loose exercise, but I’m curious about it all. You might write a point counterpoint poem, where landscape and cityscape are pitted against each other, or rub shoulders in an uneasy alliance.
Go to it! I shall see you Thursday for links; Friday for this week’s prompt sites roundup; and next Tuesday for the next prompt from me.
Happy writing, all.