by Nancy Casey
Erosion is going on always and everywhere. Geologists tell us that it is the relentless process that ensures that nothing on the surface of the earth stays the same for very long.
A river carrying rock and dirt downstream gradually made the Grand Canyon. Wind, and the little particles it carries, have worn away mountains. Erosion has caused whole cliffs with houses on them to fall into the sea.
It’s not just the surface of the earth that is affected by erosion. A hole in a well-worn article of clothing can be caused by erosion, too!
Think about erosion as your prepare your writing situation for the day. Get out your stuff and arrange it in front of you so that it’s pleasing to you. Take a breath or two. Wiggle around a little to loosen yourself up.
Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like.
Consider the world around you. Think about the erosion that happens to the earth when it rains or when the wind blows. Sometimes you can see it happening, and sometimes you can’t.
Imagine all the different things you know of that can wear out. How often is erosion the cause?
You can think of erosion in a metaphoric or symbolic way, too. When an intense feeling becomes less acute, what has caused it to erode?
What besides feelings can erode inside yourself? A conviction? A sense of resolve? A desire? A memory?
Is there something that you wish would (or wouldn’t) erode?
What does time erode?
Allow your mind to settle into these thoughts, and when an idea about erosion occurs to you, write it down. You could explain what causes the erosion and what the end result will be. You can tell if you think the erosion is good or bad and whether you can slow it down or speed it up.
Maybe you will have so much to say about your first idea that it fills the whole page. Or perhaps you will have a little bit to say about several different types of erosion. Somehow, you will fill the page.
If your mind feels empty of ideas, doodling, drawing, or even just scribbling, can open up your thoughts and gently draw your focus to the writing task . Then, when an idea comes, you’ll be ready to write it down.
When you have filled up the page, look back over your work. 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 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. If you would like some help with any kind of writing project, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.