Monday, June 14, 2010

Writing Exercise: Part Duex

Our writing exercise a couple of weeks ago was very interesting, I'd like to share it with you. Here are the rules: You have fifteen minutes in which to write, you must use the words, sentences, or phrase given at the beginning of the exercise in your piece. The rest is up to you. Here were the choices of words which we could write about: (there were several but all I can remember are these) drunken chickens and cupcakes, and This is for my mother Ruth. I chose the latter and the following is what I wrote.

This is for my mother, Ruth

Dear Mother,

As I sat by your bed this morning we talked about the lilacs and how they've finally bloomed. Their heady perfume drifted in your open window, past the billowing lace curtains, and into your mind. You told me about the year you planted the lilacs. It had been a long and particularly harsh winter, and when spring finally arrived they were the first thing you put in the Earth. Your Earth, you called it. You remember the lilacs...but you don't always remember me.

It hurt the most at the beginning when I would come to you with your favorite tea, made just the way you like it: one scoop of sugar and a splash of vanilla cream. You would greet me with a puzzled expression, "Oh, who are you?" you would ask, a trace of deja vu on your brow.

"Mom, it's me, Naomi, your daughter. Remember?"

"Naomi? My daughter is but a child, and she's still at school now" you replied.

Like burning darts into my soul those first times were,ripping and seperating pieces of who I am from who I was, and it was as if an actual piece of me was lost along with your misplaced memories of me. But, no matter how much I tried to wish the hands of time back, or at least still, they moved forward, ever forward as they have always had a way of doing. And in those moments between then and now, past and present, the searing pain became a dull ache and I learned to love the new, absent you.

It's strange the things you forget and those you remember. You recently heard the theme song from The Andy Griffith Show and exclaimed that I should run and get Naomi because her favorite show was on. It was my favorite show, and for a moment I wanted so badly to take a step back in time and be Naomi in pigtails, Naomi with homework to do, Naomi with a mother who remembers her. was fleeting, and as reality, the present, settled back in, I pulled the covers up under your chin, smoothed the creases to the edge, and gently kissed your forehead. "Ill go and get her," I said "She's probably just finishing her homework."


Amanda said...

Well, nothing like a random tearjerker during my 2 minute break from conducting things at Grand Central Station.

You are definitely talented and this shows that you can do more than be funny and write about Jill flashing her you-know-what and Jack liking it! ;)

Aged One said...

Oh my goodness. I am blubbering at this very moment. I feel this so many times with Grandma Harter. And I feel the pangs of a mother absent.
Jill, your gift is incredibly beautiful and multi-faceted. I am always blessed by your pen and paper!!!

jami said...

I see your true impression of your mother has seeped out.

SilverGoldfish said...

Oh, is this like when you get a tagline or several sentences to start with but what you build off of it is up to you? Sorry if that's not what you meant, it sounded like that though! Tagline writing exercises are awesome.

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