Life as metaphor, that’s what this week’s challenge from Charli Mills is about. At its heart. I think. She puts it thus (it is in two parts):
- August 5, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write the common premise: “I ran over a deer (or other animal) and have decided to nurse it back to health.”
- But before you write, daydream. Do something out of your normal routine for 10 minutes. Go outside, sit and stare into space. Rest in a meditative yoga pose. Lock yourself in the bathroom. Mow the lawn, or do the dishes. Let your mind wander to the story and daydream before you write it.
In the comments, state if this exercise had a profound effect or not.
I went walking on Monday with Dog and friends, somewhere in the Sussex countryside. It was beautiful, if sweaty and sticky.
I dropped behind at one point to take in these wild flowers. There were vetch and ox-eyed daisy, and tall mauve spikes that I had not to my knowledge seen before. The corn was a mellow toast-ripe for the harvester, the woods so many shades of green that they outdid any thesaurus and as I watched Dog bound ahead to check on my companions, now disappearing into a thicket of thistles or so it seemed, all sound leached away, apart from a mewling overhead as a pair of buzzards spun past. Being outdoors, my own people-free universe prickles me with a variety of senses: a joy in the unfettered interconnectedness of natural world; a sadness from the hinted at feeling that I am, inevitably, alone; a dusty tiredness that soon enough this richness will be rot; a nervy watchfulness exemplified by the buzzards that soon enough I too will be dispersed into some other horizon.
My mind doesn’t so much as wander when left to its own devices, when stimulus is passive not forced; rather it sparks like a badly fitted electrical connection, splinters of half considered ideas and memories jostling for priority, radiating out it all directions, one thought soon overtaken by another and then another.
I was happy, in truth to move on, to rejoin friends. I’m not comfortable being too alone with just me for company. I know the punchlines, see the glib jokes for what they are and bore easily. My mind redacts the ridiculous, suppresses the superstitious when with others and I’m more comfortable.
And as I wandered back I had in mind Charli’s admonition. It also made it easy to see where my flash piece would take me. Well, Mary and Rupert are still there… Their saga – it feels now like both their stories – can be found here.
Offering a hand
Penny pointed to what seemed like a heap of leaves.
Gradually Mary’s eyes saw what her daughter saw. A small bird, sat still but not lifeless.
‘It’s fallen. Can we help it?’
Mary checked; the nest was empty. ‘I think it’s been abandoned. Best..’
‘No! We must do something.’
Summers peeled away and she was ten again; her father picked up the blackbird they hit with their car. She sat with it, nursing it. It was hopeless but her father had understood she had to try.
‘Of course.’ She thought of her missing twin; had someone picked her up?