Friday, March 7, 2014

Nature's Child - a gather

Oh, hey, Word of the Year 2014.

WRITE.

Right.

So, making 2014 the year of writing has turned out to be harder than I thought. In actuality, it's feeling like the year of writer's block...

But, anyway, I take writing classes with the ever-so-lovely Maureen Ryan Griffin and she has an exercise called The Gather that she has us do every so often. The idea of The Gather is that you listen to a piece of writing (usually a poem), then listen to it a second time as you listen for words and phrases that capture your attention. As you gather these words and phrases, you write them on a piece of paper in no particular order. In the center of your paper, you've reserved a square for your working title. You then take the words and phrases and use them to construct a new piece of writing in 5-7 minutes.

This Thursday, Maureen read us a poem called At Gettysburg by Linda Pastan. Here's what came out of this gather for me.

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Nature's Child
She spends her summer mornings within the borders of her yard while mountains peek over her shoulder. Green pines stand side by side on the western edge. She stares at the tiny, tender white flowers with pink stamens and wonders how something so delicate can push up through the hard earth. While listening to the bubbling creek to her left--she mustn't go there alone--she is learning about the points of a small, domed cactus--what they know themselves, a sharp prick, likely to draw blood, can never be avoided. Under the impartial blue sky, she is grown here, finding her form.

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