How we write: Reflections on writing, walking, and words.

I write to discover and I walk to explore. Walking, I’ve found, helps me see things in a new way. Walking generates ideas. Today, Easter Sunday, 2017, I walked with my smart phone and recorded thoughts and observations along with snapshots of what inspired them.

Cairn: a stack of stones purposefully arranged like words in a sentence; a signpost marking the way when the trail is obscure or non-existent. Writer’s block: No trail, no compass, no cairn to guide. Or worse, complacency — no reason to explore.

You can write the truth but you can’t write the whole truth. The very act of writing is one of exclusion, choosing one word over another. A word is an X-Acto knife eliminating the possibility of all other words in that particular place. Sometimes its hard to write because of this exclusion, this leaving behind feels like forgetting. By choosing to tell this story this way, I’ve aborted countless others. Yet if I don’t write, nothing is born, nothing remains. I grieve for the world’s lost memories and all the unborn stories.

 

Each sentence we write, each paragraph, re-creates a past, one of many pasts, saving it from oblivion. But saving it for whom?

Back home, it’s time to start dinner. I’ll put the ideas I’ve collected in a vase of water in hopes of preserving them. Maybe I can work them into a story, an essay, a poem, later tonight…  But I know they won’t last forever, which makes them even more beautiful somehow.  — Linda Collison 4/16/2017

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