Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Point of Departure (100x23)

Most nights it didn’t take long. He’d lie down, turn on his side, put his head on the pillow, stretch, and be off into that other place, those other places, amongst old friends and parakeets, disturbing juxtapositions: the basketball game suddenly gone airborne, the plane in flames, the sensation of falling, the soft whoomp as the waters embraced him, whispering, singing, songbird winking, what’s the name of that woman with the platinum hair? Mary Something, beside the campfire, sleeping bags, whose arms, whose thighs, the sound of footsteps, a car door slamming, voices outside the window, the light dawning: morning.

Process Reflection:
Couldn’t remember the topic for the day. Looked it up after doing the dishes tonight to plant it in my brain: pillow. Lay down on the sofa, did the Tuesday crossword, finished it and put it aside, started to drift off, lying there. Felt my head on the pillow; thought: pillow. Thought, okay, here's a place to begin: the point of departure. Got up and went to the computer and started typing, thinking about dreamspaces, recalling images from recent dreams. Pushed into it, keeping an eye on the word count, knowing I didn’t have much room, trying to compress. This one came fast: about seven minutes from start to finish. Came in at 102 words. Cut two. Done. Good thing too. Busy day today. Don't know how much I would have been able to do if I really had to work at it.


Doug Noon said...

I've really enjoyed this series of posts you're doing.

Bruce Schauble said...

Thanks, Doug. It's been interesting to be held to such a small canvas, and to be under the daily time constraints. One of the things I most admire about your own posts is how carefully crafted and well-thought out and patiently elaborated they are. It's obvious that you're not knocking them off quickly, which is why they are always worth careful reading.

These little exercises feel slight by comparison. That's why I've felt almost compelled to do an end-around the word limit by appending the process reflections. I'm doing those partially because I often ask my students to do them by way of helping me to read them the way they hope to be read. I'm also thinking that at some point in the future I may be able to use this sequence as an illustration for my students of both the potential usefulness of submitting yourself to a regimen of sorts and the usefulness of attempting a process reflection. But perhaps the most significant reason I am doing the process reflections as well is because they allow me to expand upward and outward from the topic at hand.