Stripped of your ego, the confines of this body, the self’s listless desires, habits and needs, what are you, really? The essence. The scent beneath the senses. The immaterial you, master of shape-shifting, lover of spaciousness and form.
Can you give yourself a color? A material? Are you silky? Matted? Splintered? A quilt of painted glass? What would you like to be, instead?
(Pimples like a stucco wall; he’d run his hands
over the visible mountains on my back, the mountains
that I carry to bed, and to life, some bubbled open,
irritated, freshly coated with new war—he’d run his hands
over my stucco, and say he’s skilled at climbing.)
- After you leave a room, what lingers?
- When you make a decision, where do you feel it in your body?
- If you could give yourself a climate, what would it be?
- A hemisphere? A star system?
- If a pirate was searching for a hidden treasure inside of YOU, what would that pirate be searching for? [*It’s okay if your mind is in the gutter. Maybe the gutter is where you need to be! ;)]
There are many ways to look at the self, the world, the things you think are real. Writing, just like living, performs its miracles by opening the door to a new perspective. It’s seeing (and feeling and thinking and experiencing) a lens that is new to YOU. [And not forcing that lens]. But training yourself to make connections, to look at your life (and beliefs and people and subjects) upside down, or sideways, or inside out, or just as they are… if that’s required.
Challenging current perspectives opens new doors. It lets you detach from your ego, even, and be in the pure space of possibility. When you aren’t trying to prove anything, you let life in.
A writing challenge:
If your natural mode is to approach content with sarcasm, irony, or satire to make a point, try a new trick. Strip away all the commentary. Describe a flower without making that flower mean anything else.
Even if your natural mode is to elaborate content with beautiful, poetic language, try stripping that away. Describe a flower without making that flower mean anything else.
If your natural mode is bare-boned language, give it some meat. And so on.
PLAY with your boundaries.
You deserve to write [and live] like no one’s watching. 🙂