Writing Prompt 6: A walk on the edge between brown fields and green fields.
I spend much of my time in two drought-ridden states, California and New Mexico. Rains have been rare in both areas, mountains are bare of winter snow, and water rationing is a way of life. Ten years ago, when I walked through a field in New Mexico, the green grass tops brushed my waist. Now, in that same field, small dots of green leap by, an invasion of grasshoppers, their voracious jaws chewing away at the dry, crunchy, inch-high remains of grass.
Do you ever feel like that about your writing? As if you are wandering through fallow, over-grazed fields?
If so, you would understand why a short respite in western Ireland was a welcome contrast for me. In Galway and Connemara, we were surrounded by water and green hills. Moist air soothes the skin, twenty shades of green calms the eyes, birdsong and a friendly Irish brogue are easy on the ears.
Seeing contrast is good for inspiration: green against blue; soil against stone; moist cool against dry hot; music against machines; silence against cacaphony. There are lessons to be learned in that thin space where one touches the other.
Try this. Sit quiet for ten minutes. Make your travel a journey of solitude, a look inside yourself at the contrasts in your life. From that point of quiet, write a page about what you see, what you hear in that thin space in between. You will find that your clearest insights, your strongest writing will come from exploring that space in between who you are inside and who you are outside.
Be quiet. Explore. Write. Now.
by William Butler Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)