Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stay With the Line You Can't Finish . . . A Prompt

Consider this verse from poet David Whyte:  "Stay with the line you can't finish . . that's where the shame is that's blocking the revelation."

And so I offer up the writing prompt.  Stay with the line you can't finish...


In my memoir, I wrote of the shame I felt when I yelled at my terminally-ill husband.  "What good are you as a father?  I wish I'd never met you!" And in the following scene, I tell John, "I didn't mean what I said. It's just that I can't bear to live without you."  Writing about my shame led to the revelation of the depth of my love for him.

At yesterday's Circle we spoke how writing comes with risk-taking. We also spoke how empowering writing is because it lets us find and hone our voices; it allows us - permits us - to relive a memory, hold it, examine it, and understand it through the structure and form of the written word. 

Shame blocks revelation, which blocks the "truth" of our stories.  I refuse to feel shame because my words threaten some and lead to condemnation.

"I have walked over these roads and found them living," Ezra Pound said. 

Take that walk today with your writing.  Stay with the line you can't finish . . . and see where it leads.  You might be surprised.
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