"I am astonished in my teaching to find how many poets are nearly blind to the physical world. They have ideas, memories, and feelings, but when they write their poems they often see them as similes. To break this habit, I have my students keep a journal in which they must write, very briefly, six things they have seen each day—not beautiful or remarkable things, just things. This seemingly simple task usually is hard for them...
...Their journals fill up with lovely things like, "the mirror with nothing reflected in it." This way of seeing is important, even vital to the poet, since it is crucial that a poet see when she or he is not looking—just as she must write when she is not writing. To write just because the poet wants to write is natural, but to learn to see is a blessing."
~From The Art of Finding by Linda GreggJoin the river of stones to practice this way of seeing. If you are a writer, it will help your writing. If you are not a writer, you soon will be, but, either way, this kind of seeing gets you closer to the world. I've used a longish quote from Gregg's article because she describes how the type of exercise we're proposing can help make us better writers and poets. We found Gregg's article during the January challenge I think, and it's confirming to see other writers encouraging people along the sames lines as us. We're not saying anything new though, really, just encouraging lots of people to join us.
renegade reds dot
a leaf brown landscape—
a pack of newports shouts
I hope all of your journals fill up with lovely things like "the mirror with nothing reflected in it", and that you share your small stones with us on your blogs. Find out how to get involved here.
We begin tomorrow!
P.S. Remember that Fiona and I will be on a silent retreat next week. We'll be keeping our small stones in our paper journals and writing them up online at the weekend, when we'll also enjoy diving in and reading all of your lovely contributions.
P.P.S Thanks to Leo Renyolds for the countdown photos this week.