Unwitting Adventure


For Writers Island prompt #28  Adventure

Well, I went looking for an adventure and found one. Not the one I was expecting, but certainly one worth doing. For the past week, I have been engaged in a writing challenge. It is to write a poem a day, every day, through the entire month of November, and is offered by Poetic Asides, a site that is part of the online aspect of The Writers Digest magazine, and hosted by Robert Lee Brewer.

Each day, he posts a general prompt for the day, and we are to write a poem at least somewhat directed toward the prompt. At the end of the month, we are to put the best of these into manuscript form, and the winner will have a chapbook published by the magazine. My daily posts can be found here:

The adventure started on the first day. I thought I could use the prompts and poems to write about my Mother and our relationship. But, I am a follower after the words, and the words wanted to go some place else. And did.

Found myself writing about an experience that happened about fifteen years ago. Something I could never form poetry around. Now suddenly I was doing that day after day. Working through the images, remembering something I didn’t want to remember. Doing something I didn’t think I could do.

And each day, there were small ‘coincidences’ that told me that I was in the right place, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Watched a movie, one evening. There was a song in it that I hadn’t heard in years. Just the opening bars and then it faded back into the action of the story.

The next morning, I was still humming the song when I sat to write. Finished the poem for that day and posted it. Later, went back to check on the site and found a comment telling me that what I had written reminded the reader of a song lyric that stayed in her mind, long after the book was closed (or the movie ended?). Whew!

Each day, I write in my journal and then go to the prompt site to see what the suggestion is for the day. And each day, I find words that trigger off memories that make poems I was sure would never be written. And afterward, sit quietly wondering at the workings of the Universe and how it all comes together.

I didn’t plan this, although I did prepare for it. Got things in order so I could do the writing. Cleaned and cleared off my desk. Made sure that other obligations were fulfilled, and that I would have the space to do whatever the challenge demanded. And yet, somehow am astounded by all of it.

I was looking for a beginning, an adventure. But, my mind has a mind of its own and took me back to a place that definitely needed healing. Telling me with, and in, my own words that I can’t go forward until I go back and heal what has been broken.

Intuition plays a key role in all of it. I prepared myself for one thing, and found another. Followed the words and found a new, but old and familiar path. It was time, but I didn’t know that. Not on a conscious level. Which might be the only way it could have ever happened.

We seem to forget that all beginnings are also endings, of one sort or another. So to begin, we must first let go. Let go of whatever holds us, our attention, our energy and focus on moving forward. If we don’t let go, but hang on, all we do is drag all of that with us into whatever new place we are hoping to establish. We may move, but not much, and not very far, because we take everything right along with us. That’s doesn’t bode well for traveling light.

But, I’ve noticed something. With each day, I lose a bit more of the weight of the past. Find reconciliation with the experiences I had back there. The heavy emotions I expected to find, seem to arrive without hesitation, and as I write the words, I am letting go, getting loose from the tethers that once bound me.

At the same time, I am also coloring. Spending some time each day in a quiet reflective state, relaxing and yes, playing with all of it. It’s as though I let go, and yet fill up and refuel for the next step and day in my process. There are definite patterns appearing on this path, and I like them. Like watching them come together, take on new forms and colors, with new and different meanings.

Where will it all go? Don’t have a clue. But then, that is what an adventure is all about. Exploring the unknown, discovering differences and similarities. Learning a new language. Sorting the new from the old. Letting go of what is no longer needed, and gathering up and finding a space and place for what is necessary.

And to think, I don’t even have to leave home for this adventure. Just follow the words and let it happen.


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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26 Responses to Unwitting Adventure

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Elizabeth: chapeau! You are succeeding brilliantly, and it is also helping you, which makes the whole thing worthwhile. My efforts seem trivial and rushed – mainly because I have to wait for mid-afternoon for the prompts to be posted. You will make it to the end, getting stronger and stronger.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Viv, I didn’t find your piece about the stowaway or the one about the coffin box, either trivial or rushed. You negate yourself and your words far too much and too easily. Don’t do that, okay?

      I have found something in the challenge that I didn’t expect to find. Whether or not it continues is a matter of wait and see. I hope it does. These words have been buried far too long and need the fresh air they are finally finding. I can only be grateful, to yourself and others who have encouraged me. I would say “hat’s off” to all of us for even doing it, lol. And thank you for taking the time to read,


  2. Rene Foran says:

    Keep following those words…they know where they are going.
    Enjoy your journey, smile and give thanks, for your yoke is becoming easier as your burden becomes more light.

  3. marja says:

    A great and therapeutic adventure and synchronisity at work as well so you are on te right path. Good luck

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you Marja, poetry has always been therapy for me. Not quite as deep as this current experience, but then we seem to peel them away in layers. And I am grateful for that. It would be difficult to have to handle it all at once.


  4. Again your words so beautifully written. Wrap it all up, put it in it’s proper place. Everything is perfect.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Gotta laugh Annell, very little is perfect. Good, sometimes better than the norm, but still touched by imperfection, none the less. I do love to write and knowing that someone is actually listening is frosting on the cake. What you say, “Double fudge, with ice cream on the side?” Now that’s getting pretty close to perfect.


  5. anthonynorth says:

    Oh, words hold so many adventures. I go everywhere from my chair.

    • 1sojournal says:

      So do I, Anthony. At my age, it is wonderful to have this machine in front of me. It allows me to forget the years and just be in this time and this moment. Thanks for the comments and want to say again, how much I liked your microfiction this week,


  6. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, I agree with following the words and letting them happen. That is pretty much what I have been doing also. Not self censoring. The poem comes as it comes. You are a wise woman when you say all beginnings are also endings! Indeed. I’d reverse it as well and say that all endings are also beginnings. Glad you are losing some weight of the past. Hope you continue to feel ‘lighter’ as the month goes on. Funny how the prompts give one an opportunity to speak what has before been unspoken! Onward!

    • 1sojournal says:

      And I think that is because the prompts come from outside the normal paths we would take. They allow us to ask different questions, and that in turn allows a new or different response. And you are right about endings being new beginnings. That was the first prompt, shutting the door, turning a new page. And I am just glad to be a part of all of this, glad I am not alone, and glad for each new day and each new poem. It is exciting. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, I really do appreciate that,


  7. Tilly Bud says:

    I love that PAD is an adventure for you (I am finding it something of a chore; perhaps because I haven’t felt truly inspired yet). I enjoyed sharing the journey with you.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Tilly Bud, I have been pleased to find so many names I recognize in that crowd of poets. I have done the poem a day exercise before but always on my own. Perhaps that makes a difference. The immediate feedback is ennergizing. And I’ll admit, I almost quit the first day when I saw how many poets were really involved. That was intimidating. But, when I realized where my thoughts were taking me, I picked up my pens and started coloring. That was calming and relaxing. Needed that bit of refreshment to just keep moving forward. So glad I did. Hope you find a way to do the same,


      • b_y says:

        It’s easier when you are being prodded, gently, isn’t it?
        The numbers there have really ballooned. I’ve about given up on trying to read the poems, especially when people post several long ones.

        b_y, I agree. The numbers are huge and the words begin to bleed into one another and all sense of separate voice and author becomes lost, or at least, for me, loses sense and meaning. And yes, I agree about the gentle prodding. The prompts say something a bit different to each individual and it always amazes me how many different responses come from one small prompt. But, that also is ennergizing in its own fashion. I certainly am enjoying it. Thanks for stopping by,


  8. Diane T says:

    I agree with you on “Intuition plays a key role in all of it.” You have to follow the feeling in your gut…. and you do that powerfully. Brava to you!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Diane, intuition is the key to so much of my life, our lives, because it is always there, nudging at us, keeping us moving, even when we’d rather not do so. Thank you so very much for your generous words, and hats off to you for doing the same,


  9. AW says:

    “But, I am a follower after the words, and the words wanted to go some place else. And did.” – Boy can I relate! Good luck on your journey! 🙂

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thanks AW, I think most of us involved in blogging or writing, have had this experience. I used to try to warn my students that it happens, but they didn’t want to hear it. They find it out eventurally,


  10. Reflections says:

    Sounds like quite the adventure, full of surprises and surpasses. Good luck on the rest of your journey.

  11. Ninotaziz says:

    Dear Elizabeth, I envy your adventure and current challenge. I love where words take me. By I dream of the adventures that seem impossible to manage now. Like the trip to Borobodur, or Angkor Wat. The pyramids! Can I leave my darlings behind?

    Yet, I enjoyed our Sunday lazy ride on our old Vespa around the block with the neighbours looking at us as if we were mad (Rudi, Ikesha, Ilena, Irani and me on the poor bike! ) Iman is studying for her major exams the end of this month and Inas is pooped after basketball!

    • 1sojournal says:

      ninotaziz, sounds like you have enough challenges to keep you busy. What a sight that must have been, all of you on the bike. At my age, I know what you mean about dreaming about the things I used to do. One of the things I can do is write out those memories, relive them, and share them with others. Thanks for stopping and commenting,


  12. Hank aka kaykuala says:

    Good for you. It takes great resolve to meet this challenge. A good thing about this challenge is that there is a reckoning and reward element as a motivation. Great!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thanks Hank, I’m just looking for the experience more than anything else. It really has given me focus and purpose. Those aren’t bad rewards,


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