Today’s prompt comes via Writing Our Way Home, as part of the email section of the course Journaling Your Way Home. (Note: If you’d like to join in, you can purchase the course at the Journaling Your Way Home address above to receive both the e-book and the emails)
“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”
~E. L. Doctorow
Start with a familiar memory. Re-enter it. Live it again. Let go into fantasy if you like. Go where the writing takes you.
You know how you can smell something and it takes you back in time to a memory? I did that this morning. I was refiling my humidifier and suddenly smelt salt water. It made no sense. There’s nothing salty about the mist from the humidifier, but there it was anyway. Salt water. My mind instantly drifted back in time to the mid-to-late 90s when I was attending Hollins College and my friend Claire and I would take Spring Break trips to Nags Head. Suddenly, I was there again – walking along the sandy shore, listening to the Ocean breathing, and feeling the cool salt water on my face. I felt her calling me, enticing me to join her, to be one with her. She has that effect on me, lulling me into a state of complete bliss.
I am pulled into her foam-green petticoats, swirling around with her, allowing myself to drift further out and under. I feel the pressure as she gently coaxes me to go deeper and deeper. I want to be with her. To become her. To be inexplicably one with her and never resurface. I don’t worry that I am made of flesh and blood. I am also made of water and can, therefore, become water. I watch as schools of fish swim by. They are as curious of me as I am of them. What is a human doing so deep? Is she out of her mind? Surely she will drown, or perhaps she will adapt. I’d like to adapt, grow my own gills so I never have to leave this place. Then I could not only be one with the Ocean, but also one with the dolphins, whales and sharks.
In the distance, I hear a raven cawing and am lifted from the sea. There is a war going on inside of me. A battle between the call of the Ocean and the call of the Raven. To be deep in the sea, or soaring through the air. I want to be with both, but I know that I cannot. I realize it is my dual nature as part Gemini and part Cancer, a cuspie. To be of Air and Water. In my mind, I return to my mountains feeling wholly unsatisfied and wanting.