Temporary and Permanent

by Nancy Casey

What’s temporary in your life? What is likely to be permanent? That’s what you’ll be exploring today in your writing. Open your mind to those questions while you gather your materials and set up your page.

Draw a line where the title will go. Then draw a shape in the middle of the page. A circle, a square, a blob—any kind of shape. This will be your drawing space, so make it as large or as small as you like.

Next draw two lines out from the shape to the edge of the paper so that the writing space is roughly divided in half.

On one side of the page, write about some things that are likely to change in your lifetime. What changes many times over the course of a day? What changes slowly over a lifetime? Sometimes changes are traumatic, and sometimes they bring relief. Consider your life and your world the way it is right now and ask yourself, “What’s not going to stay that way?”

You can write about one changing aspect of your life in detail, explaining how it will change and why you know that is true. Or your writing might look more like a list.

On the opposite side, you will write about things that you would consider to be permanent in your life. Of course you can argue that nothing is ever permanent. Life is full of miracles and surprises a person can never predict. All the same, there are things that we realistically expect to remain unchanged in our lifetimes. The past, for instance.

As ideas come to mind, you can switch back and forth from the “temporary” side of the page to the “permanent” side. While you wait for ideas to come to you, doodle or draw in the illustration space in the middle.

After you have filled a page, read over your work. Make small changes if you need to. Add additional color or decoration to the page. When you are satisfied with your work, give it a title and write the date on it, too.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.

Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center.  She offers free writing coaching for people in recovery. For information contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.


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