Look Up!

by Nancy Casey

Tilt your head back the littlest bit and notice how that feels. Does your neck bend? Do your shoulders move? Do you feel it anywhere else, like your low back or your feet?

Move your head gently to the left and right. Notice how that feels. As you do this, look out “straight.” Except that “straight” is not where it usually is. With your head tilted back, “straight” is a little bit “up.”

Keep looking a little bit “up,” and move your gaze to the right and the left. Take note of everything you see when you are looking up from your usual line of vision.

That’s what you will write about today.

Before you start writing, practice looking up and to the left and right. Then set up your page. Draw a line at the top where your title will go. Set aside illustration or doodling space if you like. Then get your pen moving. If an idea for something to write doesn’t come to you immediately, doodle on the page until one does. Pause often and look up.

Maybe you will notice an object you haven’t paid attention to for a long time, and it has such a big story to go with it that you will take up the whole page when you tell it.

Maybe your page of writing will turn out to be more like a list of all the things that you see from this different angle of vision.

Your writing could also be a combination of these two. Or maybe you will start writing down memories of other times you have looked up and seen something that still sticks in your mind.

You could even write about the experience of looking up itself, what it felt like and any surprises that you had.

When the page is full, 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 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.

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