Write for You: Continuity

by Nancy Casey

Things that stay the same in our lives over time are what give our lives continuity. These things could be situations, such as a job, a support group, or a relationship. The continuous things could be places: a town, a library, a home. Our lives can derive continuity from possessions we have had for a long time: favorite shirts, certain books, that cup, a car.

The funny thing about continuity is that we wouldn’t notice anything about the things that stay the same if there weren’t a whole lot of other things that changed.

On top of that, you can’t really predict ahead of time what’s going to stay with you in your life and what’s going to disappear. You can expect certain things to be the same. You can even try hard to keep them the same. But dishes break, relationships end, and suitcases get lost. Only by looking back can you say for sure what parts of your life, big or small, have stayed the same.

Today in your writing, choose one aspect of your life that’s been continuous for awhile. Big or small. It could be anything from your house or your best friend to your shoes. (You can decide how long “awhile” should be.)

Begin by describing what you have chosen to write about. Tell what it is. What does it look or feel like? What do you notice and appreciate about it? What role does it play in your life now, today?

Then think about the past. Think of a different moment when the “thing” was present. It could be sometime in the past when you wore the shoes, talked to the friend, sat on a certain couch. Describe that moment. How this one thing is still present, even though the surroundings and situation could be entirely different.

You could end up writing a lot about one moment, and explain how something present in your life today was present at a significant moment.

You might find it more interesting to write short descriptions of a string of moments where many things changed, but this one thing you have in mind stayed with you or stayed the same.

Whatever you decide to write, it will be interesting. Because no two lives are the same.

When you have finished give your work a title and write the date on it. There is an example of what a person could write here: http://planetnancy.net/writing-prompts/continuity/


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. She has taught writing classes at the Recovery Center and will return again in the spring of 2018. You can find more of her work at http://planetnancy.net/ If you would like her help with a writing project, email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

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