In my experience of writing, often the muse is elusive. I do Poetry Therapy, which is healing through writing. Our writing is on demand. Talk about an elusive muse! However, Natalie Goldberg, in “Writing Down the Bones” talks about the power of first thoughts and she encourages run-on sentences. In my group work, it’s imperative to keep on, keep on writing, without critique, without the inner critic, getting to the first thoughts, the raw, ripe emotion of things. In other words, it allows the writer to “get real.”
In honor of my dad, who has now left this earth for six months, a man, I was just getting to know, and didn’t get to say as much as I wanted to say, I decided to do a run-on. (By the way, taking dictation for Alzheimer’s patients and asking them to just keep talking and not stopping works well too!) Not only do I get first thoughts, but there is ‘Gold in them hills!” I can always go back and underline what strikes me or my reader or has great emotion or provocative, intriguing language and rewrite from there. Nothing is in stone!
Here goes my vulnerability:
I want to tell you daddy….
- That I started a garden with all your favorites: tomatoes and cucumbers and green beans. I have sunflowers too with big bulbous heads and radiant petals and some intense jalepeno peppers and onions with ruffious heads, so I can make your wonderful salsa. You would love the spot…maximum sun spreading its goodness all over those plants. It’s going to be a good crop daddy.
- I want to tell you that last summer when we got lost and stopped at the Dairy Queen and slurped ice cream sundaes together to relieve ourselves of the hot sun and long car ride was one of my favorite memories. I got to have you all to myself. I don’t even ever remember a time I had you ALL to myself…and no one could call us and bother us…and no t.v. and no dogs or anything but you and me. And I want to tell you that the other day I went to Dairy Queen just to spend time with your memory…it was most lovely.
- And I want to tell you that I miss you terribly and that I want to call you all the time and tell you things…but I can’t…they say…just talk to his spirit…he can hear you…but it’s not the same…Joe preserved many of my tapes with you…that was nice…I can hear your voice now and again…and I want to say I’m so frustrated sometimes that our time was so short…we were just getting to know each other and have great conversations…and now…well…you know…
This wasn’t great writing, but there are jewels in there and places I can write from that I want to explore or know more about. The beautiful part of this journey is that I can keep practicing writing…I can keep working on my dad’s book.. This is also great for if you only have a few minutes. I believe in the book “The Artist’s Way” Julia Cameron has writers do “morning pages” which is much the same thing. And by the way, the TRIPLE ADDED BONUS is that it’s therapeutic too…no longer running around in my head.
Happy writing to you. And may the power of run-ons forever be yours!