RB Kavanaugh's blog.
The METATE is a vessel for grinding grain. Metates date back to prehistory in the Americas. For our purposes in this blog, it's a means of separating the grain of our thoughts from the chaff.
The SPRING, on the other hand, flows out effortlessly. It produces effervescent thought, but it can also dry up on you.
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Sunday, November 15, 2015
Six Word Short Story. And how writing helps deal with life.
here’s an exercise sure to stretch your writing muscles. At the end of it are
my thoughts on how writing helps us deal with life.
exercise is the famous “six-word short story”, most often credited to Ernest
Hemingway. I have heard, though, the author Margaret Atwood reel off an
impressive assortment of the same six-word short story format. Apparently it’s
a favorite pastime for her.
of folks try their hand at it. Here are a few.
SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.
- William Shatner
falls. Details at eleven.
- Robert Jordan
parts missing. Doctor buys yacht.
- Margaret Atwood
here’s a poignant one credited to Hemingway:
Sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.
down to a lesser level of expertise, (smile), I wrote the following ones.
1.He winked. She smiled. Bells
Or is this version better?
He winked. She smiled. Rings exchanged.
The first one is more ambiguous, while
the second one definitely implies they married. Which one do you like best, and
2.Flash flood. Car submerged.
one is the result of a recent, tragic accident that weighs on my heart, and
writing this simple six-word piece is part of how I’m dealing with it. Putting
words, however simple, to the incident helps me process it and make room for it
in my consciousness without keeping me in a swirling eddy of sadness.
October 30th, we experienced a sudden, tremendous, and extended
downpour of rain out here in the country. People who live in this area usually
know to avoid the low-water crossings because of the danger of flash floods. The
water over the road may not look deep, but if it can reach the body of the
vehicle, at all, it can easily sweep the vehicle off the road. You’re stuck to
the road only by the contact surface area of four tires, remember, and a flood
can easily overwhelm that traction.
short-term resident who lived in the hills across the creek attempted to drive over
the low water crossing at the creek. You can predict the ending of this sad
story. The car went into the creek. Days later, local authorities found the
deceased, several miles downstream. The car wreckage remains twisted between
large boulders in the creek. Right where I am fond of looking down into the
woods and the waters.
think of the first line of Keats’ poem Endymion,
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever:”. Perhaps not. The creek has always been a
thing of beauty for me, while I respected the dangerous, mud-colored churning
waters frequently witnessed from the safety of cliffs above. Today the creek’s spring
is crystal clear, easily revealing the world that lies below its surface as it
burbles a pleasing song. Is it a lorelei, luring me to death?
reminds me that nature is blameless, without motive, and not a mechanism of
mankind. We are wrongfully audacious and foolish if we think otherwise. With
this in mind, I readjust my perspective, thank God for the beauty, and say an
Ave for those lost to the flood, wherever it may swell.