by Nancy Casey
Sometimes “finding” first involves “losing” and “looking for.” Other times “finding” is a complete surprise, and neither “losing” nor “looking for” are part of the story at all. Today, write about what you have found today, this week, or sometime in your life.
Take a moment to set up your page before you begin writing. Use the time to turn your mind to the task you are about to do. Watch your pen draw a slow, careful line at the top of the page where your title will go. Choose a spot on your page that you can use for drawing or illustration, and draw a careful line around that area as well. Thicken the lines, or draw over them a couple of times, watching the ink flow out of the end of your pen, and settle yourself into the time you’ll spend writing.
As soon as an idea about finding comes into your mind, write down some details about it. Don’t make yourself wait for a perfect idea, just start writing about the one that comes to you first. If you think of another idea while writing about the first one, finish the first one up and write about the new one, too. If your idea-bank feels empty, doodle on the page, keep watching the ink roll out of tip of your pen and murmur to yourself, I found… I found… I found… An idea will eventually come to you.
Maybe you will write about how a lost item turned up again and tell that story in a few sentences.
You might end up writing about an experience of looking for an item that you’ve never had. That kind of “finding” has the feel of discovery to it. You might have a story of hunting for wildflowers in the woods, or searching in several grocery stores for a food that a recipe needs and you’ve never heard of. Maybe you’ve been in a strange town looking for a place to eat or sleep, in the library looking for a book, or in a store looking for the right shoes for a job interview. When your search ends successfully, you are happy to find something that was never lost.
Sometimes we find something without looking for it at all. A bracelet on the street, a trinket in the thrift store, a social media posting that changes the shape of our day.
Another kind of “finding” is “finding out.” Think of times when you found that you liked something more (or less) than you used to. Maybe you found a dreaded event to be not-so-bad. You can find yourself to be delighted or annoyed about something. You might find a meal to be too hot, too cold, or just right. Maybe you have a story about finding yourself in good company, in trouble, or absolutely right (or wrong) about something.
After you have filled the page with one or more “finding” stories, look back over your work. Make small changes or additions if you want to clarify something. Add illustration or decoration, too, 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 the type of thing 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.