ABOUT THIS PROMPT:
This week’s prompt honors the emerging theme this week: our histories. It comes from a book about memoir but I think every writer can benefit from it – because who you are informs your writing practices and beliefs as I wrote about here.
I remember my homes in my dreams. The homes we inhabit become sacred incubators for our unconscious; they become the lens through which we view place itself. Contemporary writers are into exploring the conceptual frontiers of “home” and “place” and this is a great place to start that exploration.
When I dream, the windows of my childhood home transform into two looming, translucent monstrous women who open their mouths to devour me.
Awake, I actually travel back to my childhood homes, in pilgrimage.
There is the boulder. There is the old bus stop. There is the porch where I sang my heart out when I was so alone, with no one to hear. There is where four bees stung me and a friend’s mom gave me tobacco to chew. There is where I met a nasty old man – the kind no one ever wants to meet. There is where summer’s baked dust combined with my sweat to tear down my cheeks in afternoon, where I spilled the sugar stain of blue cool-aid, and where I cried silently hoping no one, no one at all would hear. There is where I hear the music of the sound’s waves, an ambient joy sucking at the edges of home.
“On a large piece of paper draw the floor plan of a house or apartment you wish to remember, including the hallways, bathrooms, bedrooms, back and front yards. After you have completed it with as much detail as you can, put it aside and find a quiet place to write a reverie. Imagine yourself approaching this house the way you had to get there, from a freeway off-ramp, on a country road, into a horseshoe driveway, up three steps to the door – however you entered. Once inside, walk through the doorway and enter a room of your choice.
Now imagine the details, furnish the room – where is the bed or the table, is there a fireplace or cupboards, are there rugs or carpets on the floor? Is it day or night? Are there lamps or overhead lights, etc?
Place yourself inside this room and allow your writing to go where it will, exploring your feelings or thoughts at the age you were when you lived there . . .”
Taken from Tristine Rainer’s Your Life as Story
Curated with Love.