I’m participating in Patti Digh’s online writing class, VERBTRIBE:MASTER CLASS. Since February 1 when the first class began, I’ve been writing every day. Not a novel or short stories. Just writing. Every day.
Patti gives us prompts, and then more prompts that take us deeper. We only have two days to write and polish and post a piece. This has been the best part for me: writing and letting go of the need to edit it to perfection. Just posting it as it is in that finished moment.
Lately we’ve been focusing our attention and our writing on the world within a quarter mile of where we live. As I am packing and finalizing my moving to California plans, the writing has been an opportunity for me to honor and reflect on my time here in this house.
Here’s one of the pieces I wrote:
Like African Daises
I’ve walked this sidewalk every day for three and a half years.
days off when I didn’t have the dogs.
Or I put my back out.
Or it was too hot.
Or I just didn’t feel like it.
I know the pine trees and the creosote and where
to stand to see the best angle of Squaw Peak.
I know which Jews are going to Young Israel across the street and
which ones are going to the Russian synagogue around the corner.
I know when the white winged doves will return for the summer.
I can tell you stories about how the Chihuahuas on the corner
held up traffic one morning.
And how the wild peach faced lovebirds stand their ground against the pigeons at my feeder.
I know the rhythm of the cars on Maryland Ave
and the daisies
that look like weeds at first
but wait a bit then
look closer and
you start to see the stems
unfold orange and yellow
and purple, if you’re lucky.
And one day
without expectation, the whole of the sidewalk
is lined with colors
full open to the sun
And every day I pass
I too, feel vivid and alive.
I have gotten used to this place –
the smells, the neighbors, the variety of birds
and how the light moves across the stretch of grass
in front of my writing table window.
The daisies are beginning to curl
shriveling and drying
into bare round seed balls with paper thin sacks of seeds that drop
at the slightest touch of a hand or breeze
until only a dried, beige starburst remains,
proof that there ever was a flower.