Day One: Attuning the Senses

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 8:00am

In 2010, I wrote a workbook called 21 days for a class that I was teaching in Florida. I published it as a workbook and I continue to use it in my classes. During this time of isolation, I am writing a new workbook to stay connected with our writing community. I’m calling it 21.2. Each day I will post an observation and a prompt. If you’d like, send me your answer to the prompt. We will publish these dialogues!


Comment: It’s about 6 pm. It’s still light. I walk up the road and turn right into an area that used to scare me. But now it’s beginning to become settled and feels less frightening. As I walk by the fields of Aldemere farm, I see two crows flying, following each other. Do they know what’s going on down here among the humans? And those geese pecking away in the tall grass of the fields, are they aware of our trials and tribulations?

I walk by the home of a lobsterman and his wife, a gardener. The windows on their house are gleaming, newly washed. Maybe that’s something we could do in these troubled times, clean our windows. Why not? And the dead trees, which I love. I love their insistence on staying upright. I love how they tumble into one another. Seems like there is a pattern that they adhere to. Seems quite beautiful in its mystery.

On the way back to the house, I run into a neighbor who is going out to shop, at 7 pm, because she’s convinced there will be fewer people. She’s probably right. And tells me that her son works at Whole Foods and has been offered a raise if he stays. But there is no food in the store. What would you do?

 And what can we do?

Write. We can write, share our observations. Become more aware. As Amy Krouse Rosenthal says, “Pay attention to what you are paying attention to.” Explore/walk a part of the town/land you’ve never seen. Write.

Exercise: Observe the animals in your environment. How are they dealing with the crisis? Write a monologue from the point of view of your dog. What’s he/she observing? What are those crows saying to each other as they notice us scurrying around?