“With memory, you need to wake up different angles. You might stub your toe one morning and your mind tumbles back to an old friend, who wrote poems, and introduced you one May to peonies. The buds secreted a sticky sweet juice that attracted ants. The ants crawled in and opened the big petals. The flowers couldn’t do it on their own, he said. With the sharp ache of your big toe, you remember everything about him. He died too young. You cry from the bottom of a dark well you didn’t know you had… You can’t will a memory. It’s like combing the ocean, calling up an abyss – you don’t know what you will receive.” (pg. 4)
In our writing exercises, we’ve tackled broad topics like fear and happiness. It’s time to get more specific. Often we remember moments that weren’t out of the ordinary, yet some aspect of them was memorable. Here are five prompts about ordinary things. Pick one (or more) and give us a memory. It may awaken something you’ve forgotten.
1. Tell us everything you know about Jell-O.
2. Tell us about a time you washed the dishes.
3. Tell us about a time you slept outside.
4. Tell us about a funny or odd thing that happened in or around your car.
5. Tell us about a storage unit or someplace you stored things.
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