Sara Deurell‘s comment that I took the easy way out on Friday by merely recommending other blogs instead of setting up a writing exercise has cut me to the quick. Therefore, I will set up a writing exercise today.
This is one the fabulous poet Alice Friman did with us in a workshop: Set a timer for three minutes. Close your eyes and just listen. Think about what you hear. When the timer goes off, write down what you heard.
Sound easy? Here’s the trick: You are to write WHAT YOU HEAR. You are not to write what you know it is or what it sounds like or what it could be a metaphor for. Not, “the jungle-roar of the furnace, pursuing the gazelle of Winter”. Not, “the tick of the clock’s teeth, eating my life in one-second bites”. (Yes, I had breakfast this morning. These are YOUR imaginary examples, not mine. Blame yourselves.) Not even, “the tick of the clock”. List what you HEAR–exactly what you hear.
What’s the point of this exercise? It’s kind of like the art exercise where you draw the empty spaces around an object instead of drawing the object itself. The purpose is to work toward removing your interpretation of what you experience and focusing on what you’re experiencing. What do you actually see/hear, not what do you think you see/hear or what do you think about what you see/hear?
WRITING PROMPT: Do the above exercise several times in different rooms or settings. If three minutes aren’t enough, feel free to increase the time.