by Nancy Casey
Rectangles aren’t hard. In one quick glance, I see the screen of my laptop and the keys on the keyboard. There are books, windows, walls, boards… Rectangles all over the place!
Circles, too. I see cups and baskets, pipes under the sink, flower pots. Lots of things have round parts.
Triangles are trickier. A matchbook viewed from the side has the shape of a triangle. A folded bandana does, too. what about a pup tent? I can see a triangle of sky through the branches of the trees. Do some flowers have triangle-shaped petals?
Blobs are the easiest. The laundry on the couch. The couch. Clouds. My foot. Just about everything is one kind of blob or another, isn’t it?
Today in your writing you are going to divide the world into rectangles, circles, triangles and blobs.
Begin by drawing (or folding) two lines that cross in the middle of a blank sheet of paper so that it is divided into four parts, one each for rectangles, circles, triangles and blobs. Then start filling up the spaces.
Begin with objects that you can see around you. Add objects that you remember or can imagine.
Then branch out and try to think up intangible things and where they could fit in. Does your time run around in circles? Is Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner a triangle? Perhaps your eating habits are so varied they are more like a blob.
Relationships have shapes. Love triangles. A circle of friends. Think about who you talk to a lot, or who you work with. Does your family have a shape?
Stories and ideas have shapes, too. In my family we used to say that an “adventure” is a thing that starts out fun, gets scary in the middle, and ends up okay. Would that mean that adventures are triangles? What is the shape of your favorite joke? Think up a good lie. What shape is that?
What other things can have shapes? A math problem? The weather? Multitasking? Your errands?
Fill up all the space in each of the four parts of your page. Remember that you can draw or decorate if you get stuck and don’t have many words. After you have filled the page, give it a title and write the date on it.
Take out a second page and write down a thought or two that you had in this exercise with shapes. Was it easy or hard? Did you surprise yourself with something clever?
Throughout the day and throughout the week, continue to notice shapes. You could look for triangles in the morning and circles in the afternoon, for example. Rectangles on Wednesday, blobs on Friday. Mix it up any way you like. Think up some things that you can add to that second page.
When the second page is full, give it a title and write the date on it, too.
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 here. If you would like her help with a writing project, large or small, email email@example.com for more information.