by Nancy Casey
The water in a river washes away enough dirt and rock to carve out the likes of the Grand Canyon. The water from a showerhead can wash away hours—or days—of personal grime and maybe worries and cares as well. A surprise summer rain can wash away particles of dust and smoke and turn the air clear and sweet. A good long sleep can wash away mountains of stress and fatigue.
Let your writing for today open your mind to imagining the miracle of washing-away.
What do you think would be fun to wash out of your life and understanding? Think about that as you set up your page: a line across the top where your title will go and, optionally, a box, blob, or other sort of space set aside for illustration.
Consider the dirt and clutter of your surroundings. How could a selective waterfall transform them to your liking? Think about the pollutants and microbes that could be carried off in a sudden, possibly soapy, shower. How would the wider world—a car, a building, a town, a country—benefit from the woosh! of a good washing-away?
Are there thoughts and memories you’d like to have washed from your mind? Or events that you’d like to see loosened up and floated out of history?
Begin writing without overthinking it. As soon as your mind lights on a good candidate for being washed away. Write it down. Say a little bit about it. Say even more if you like. Maybe you’ll fill the whole page writing about that single thing—what it is, what it would look like as it is washed away, where it will go, what the world will be like when it has disappeared.
It could turn out that so many possible candidates for washing-away pop into your mind, that your page will fill up and seem more like a list. Or it could turn out to be a string of phrases and sentences, all describing what you would love to see swirling around, then disappearing down the drain at the center of the universe.
If you wanted to, you could even organize your writing in the form of a spiral, circling round and round on the page, so that all the ideas in your writing tumble towards a point at the center.
Somehow your page will fill up. When it does, look back over your work. Pause to add illustration or decoration if you like. Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.
Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. Here is just one example of a page that 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. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.