All the Words You Need: Breakthrough Tip for the week of 3/2/2018

by Jae Peterson

Concrete. Thrift Store. Writing in the air. Denim. Rocks. Galaxies. (Thanks to Lin Saunders for the piece below. She wrote it in our Wednesday evening writing circle. I’d given a prompt –  can’t remember what it was – but these words are all hers.) And, for additional visual, this picture. You know what to do – or maybe not. If the latter, close your eyes, point at your screen and use whatever your finger lands on as your prompt. If you need a theme – The gift of being lost. I look forward to reading your words.

He paced along the concrete block wall.  We were in the middle of spring at Riverside Community College.  His thrift store camel hair overcoat was the same quality as the red knit cap and scarf.  Oblivious to me watching from a solid concrete bench 10 feet away, he talked to himself and wrote with quick strokes on the air in front him.  I sneezed, and he stopped.

“Oh, hi,” he said.  “I’m working something out,” and shoved his hands in the coat pockets.

“Can you tell me what it is,” I asked?

“A chaos theory about the sequence or pattern of things that appear to be random like weather or rain, he explained.”

”I understand there’s more than enough chaos going on.”  The country was still sending young men his age to Viet Nam.

I zipped a side pocket of my denim backpack closed.  “Ah, numbers.  They’re alien to me.  I’m about words.”

“Really.”  He cocked his head, hopped from the wall, and took a seat on the opposite bench.  “Words are too fluid and imprecise.  I like the definite nature of numbers.  They’re like rocks, a known dimension that can circle or square.  Pi is a good friend that stays but grows.  It reminds me of galaxies.”   Lin Saunders


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