At a writing retreat with Miriam Hall last week, this flowed out during a 15-minute free-write, in response to something another participant had read aloud.
She wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. She wrote truth and she wrote fiction, analysis and speculation, memoir and imagination, dreams and information. She wrote by hand, she wrote by keyboard, she wrote, occasionally, with voice memo dictation. Her mental world expanded as she wrote, while her physical world shrank. Busyness subsided as the words flowed onto the page, into the book. One book became two, a book-within-a-book, then two pushed at the edges of their container, threatening to become three. A solid, singular point of view toyed with breaking out into multivocal cacophony. Characters vied for her attention, daring her to try the worlds she was creating from their perspectives. “Write a mile in my shoes,” said one. “Sing a song with my blues,” taunted another. “However will she choose?” we all wondered. “Shhhhhh…,” she said, writing a finger over the lips of the author, “I’m thinking.” She wrote and wrote and wrote some more, healing as she went, the words like traces, scabs that fell off gently as the new skin grew, scars that decorated, demarcated the wounds of the warrior of life, the bounds of strife, the tracks in the snow where the wild things scampered on their way to their burrows underground. She wrote and she wrote and she wrote, words flowing like meltwater in springtime, nourishing seeds, waking them from slumber, carrying them to new fields and forests and fertile soils. On and on she wrote. She wrote like breathing, like eating, like pooping, like singing. She wrote large, she wrote small, she wrote short, she wrote tall. That’s all, she wrote.