9:17 a.m.– Atlanta
Hello, everyone. I have my coffee to my left, a box of Kleenex to my right [the cold from hell will not leave] and am ready for a fun prompt to play with, an interesting one to think about: What are the things that are the most meaningful to you and why?
I thought of the idea when I came across a post by Mary Oliver of the blog Temporary Reality. She and her family have been in the midst of a large move, which she has been chronicling. The post deals with what to take, what to store. In the process she came to realise the things most meaningful to her.
- all our family photos – from the 1920s to the present and even a few from the 1800s and early 1900s. A digital set (gradually gaining physical form) of family photos from China, early 1900s through 1980s. There aren’t many of those due to the economic and political nature of the times.
- the hand crocheted doilies and hand edged or embroidered linens from my paternal great grandmother who immigrated here from France in either the late 1800s or early 1900s..
- a few of my mother’s childhood books including Old Bones the Wonder Horse and Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint. Her set of Shakespeare’s Complete Works as well as other classics.
- my mother-in-law’s suitcase. She started work young, in Shanghai in the late 1930s and with her first paycheck she bought a leather suitcase.
- My parent’; letters and some tapes from before they were married and when my dad was in Vietnam. I’ve never read them – and don’t intend to until after my dad is no longer here.
- a table my mom bought for $20 at a garage sale – it was our table from the time Dantseng and I were married in 1991 until 2008. A lot of loaves of bread we kneaded on that tabletop – it’ll be kept while the fancy cherry table that was my grandmother’s will go to my cousin while we’re gone.
- “The Kindergarten Boxes” – Rubbermaid tubs with the girls’ early schoolwork, class pictures, drawings and paintings.
Each item is the seed of a poem and I knew I wanted to make a prompt of it. Think about the things that are meaningful to you, make a list [say 6 to 10 items], write a poem.
There are a few ways you can think about it and a couple of ways to structure it [loosely]. Once you have your list, consider if you were to go on a trip to Mars and were allowed to take only one meaningful item, what would you take? Or, if there were a fire, what one item would you save? Or, like Mary, if you were moving a long way, for several years, what one meaningful item would you take? Once you have your item write your poem. The other possibility, is once you have your list, turn it into a list poem.
The list you come up with will be a possible resource for a couple of prompts I am working on to do with self; don’t toss it.
I am looking forward to reading what is meaningful to all of you, so don’t forget to post your link, or poem, in comments.
I shall see you Thursday for a discussion on an aspect of language that I will set up and then leave to you to respond to; Friday for the roundup of prompts; and maybe next Tuesday. I am traveling up to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, to spend a week with my uncle going through family papers. I have no idea what the computer situation is. If I do not appear Tuesday, I will be dark for the week, and back with you the following Tuesday. [I shall be even later than usual with comments, too].
Meanwhile, happy writing.