Today’s Write Practice 06-28-2020
26 JOE BUNTING
What if you studied an artist, molding your lenses around hers, and then practiced seeing like she sees, writing like she would write? How would this change your writing?
Find a painting by an artist you admire, and study it for several minutes. What is unique about his style? What emotions does the painting evoke? Who are the characters (paint, light, and architecture count as characters), and how are they portrayed? Are the scenes incredibly detailed, like Dickens or Hugo, or are they spare and modern, like Hemingway? Are they surreal, like Vonnegut? How does the painter see the world? You may want to verbalize the answers to some of these questions in writing.
Next, try to imitate the painting with your writing by describing the scene around you as that artist would. If you want, maybe even go outside with your laptop or pen and paper. Like Hemingway, you might have a hell of a time with it, but it also might give your writing a unique edge like no one else’s.
Another rough night. I felt like I was on a continual upward climb and it was tough going. Occasionally I would find a slightly larger hand or foot hold that felt like it would propel me to the top, but most of the time I felt like if I didn’t pay close attention, my next step could be my last step.
While my breath was wheezing in and out like my lungs were bellows, I encountered these beautiful red flowers that magically grew amongst these craggy rocks and even in the nearly moonless night I could see bright splashes of crimson here and there. Was that bloody progress? By my sweat and tears I stubbornly clung to each rocky ledge as I continued to make slow and laborious progress towards the peak.
I’m growing so weary of the climb, but I keep being teased by glimpses of colour up ahead and I want, no, I need to reach that pinnacle. If I can get to the top, I’m certain everything will be better, right?
My focus suddenly switches and I hear my own labored breathing as I debate on whether to rest on this wider rock I clamber on, or do I continue to push ahead and not stop until I reach the top? I think if I stop here I won’t want to continue to the top, and if I make it to the top, I can definitely stop because there will be nowhere else I need to navigate to, I argue with myself. Yes, I will continue to the top. Is that a berry I see? Oh my, please let it be a wild berry that I can eat. Just one will help me with this arduous climb.
Oh no, the moonlight has completely disappeared behind some clouds. Great, now how am I supposed to see where I’m going? Fighting my body’s trembling and choking back tears that are threatening to overwhelm me, I forcefully pull in a deep breath and slowly let it out. Think, Lois, think. Okay, breathing, I can do that. Ah, with air in my lungs my head clears and I can think now. With renewed determination I tell myself that I will reach up with my hand and feel for the next good hold and I’ll do the same with my feet. This will slow me down, but what else do I need to do tonight? Just survive and get to the top. I feebly attempt to cajole myself and whisper, “Don’t stop.”
After what feels like days instead of minutes, I think the light ahead looks brighter, closer. It makes me want to shake off this tiredness and soreness and rush to the top. Yes, the moon is coming out from behind the clouds now and though it isn’t full, even this small light is better than nothing.
At last, I’m within reach of the pinnacle. I keep reminding myself that I will finally get to sit and rest as soon as I get there. Keep going. Don’t stop. There is no quitting and I do not want to go back down, especially when I’m so close.
Oh, my… I’m at a loss for words. Can you see what I’m seeing? I thought back to when I first arrived at the cabin and was getting everything settled; I saw what looked like a cross way up on a ridge in the distance and I knew I would have to check it out.
I slowly turn around in a complete circle as I take in everything my eyes can capture and then the sun peeks over the horizon and oh, the magnificent colours are too beautiful to describe. The pinks, the oranges, the purples, and yellow all coming together even through the cumulus clouds are stunning.
To see such beauty, my heart experiences a deep hope and peace.