I love the act of writing. I love seeing words appear on the page as I type or scratch with pen or pencil. I often also simply enjoy the sense of wonder at seeing what I am thinking and can find that by reading what I have written. I don’t know if other writers do this, too. I am often astounded by what appears on the screen or paper as I write.
I set myself a new task. I’m unsure how often I will be able to actually do this and I make no promises to myself or to readers about the frequency of posts here. But the task itself is quite concrete. I will take an image, quote, or news article and use it as a prompt for writing.
Today, I searched the web for a picture by using the term “new beginning” and there were thousands of pictures out there. “New” wasn’t nearly as good a search term since all I got was pictures of the word NEW written in all sorts of colorful ways.
I selected the following picture for a start because I found it interesting.
The image is intriguing, not for accuracy but for content. That may be a metaphor for my own writing. At Little Bits of History I strive for accuracy, but I have no such plans here. Here, I hope to creatively capture a thought or idea without the constriction of accuracy or veracity.
Since this is the first of these posts, I’m making more of a statement of intention and do not plan this as the writing assignment for myself as time goes on. Instead, I plan to take a prompt and write more about the inspiration gleaned from it than about what it is I’m trying to accomplish.
Something more like this perhaps:
Stanley, Cornelius, and Marjorie had strong wishes for fishes. They wanted more from their life but their world was so constricted. They talked and talked about how to enlarge their space, how to get more out of their meager lives. But the edges of the universe held them in. They were trapped in the box of old thinking and were unable to decide upon a strategy to broaden their horizons.
Cornelius was a bit younger than the others. He was the least content and complained bitterly and loudly and became a nuisance to his friends. They were tired of listening to Cornelius complain. Life was small and there was no other option. One should learn to make the best of it. They had fresh water and that was enough.
Cornelius was never satisfied. He thought and thought. He looked out past the horizon of limitations and yearned for a bigger space, a land of more opportunity and greater challenges. He was one of those fish who just couldn’t be happy in a small space. He had wanderlust and the feeling of entrapment built inside him.
He swam discontentedly and stared outward, ever outward. Then he glimpsed it. A whole new world was out there. He saw it off in the distance. Large and inviting; full of all the things Cornelius found lacking in his confined space. He plotted and planned.He studied and learned. He hinted to Stanley and Marjorie about this distant land, this place of unrestrained glory. They scoffed at Cornelius, made fun of him, shunned him. Finally, as his small space grew ever more confining and less pleasant, Cornelius formed a strategy. He studied the physics behind his scheme and practiced as well as he could.
Finally, he felt ready. He told Stanley and Marjorie exactly what he planned to do and they were both upset and yet gratified. Maybe this would shut Cornelius up. Cornelius made sure his friends understood where he was headed, pointing to the ephemeral space beyond the confines of their world. He gave each of his friends a hug and shyly kissed Marjorie on the cheek. He said his goodbyes.
He swam faster and faster, he swirled and twirled and then, with all the power he could muster, he sprang from the world of the known and plunged full speed ahead into the abyss.
There would be no turning back and while in midflight, the first for any fish of his kind, he felt panicked and frightened. But the force of his jump carried him across and the feeling of terror vanished into the thrill of accomplishment and exhilaration as he felt the soft caress of water against his scales once again. He swam and swam and swam, almost exhausted before finding the limits of this huge new world.
He returned to the other side and could see, far off in the distance, his two friends staring in amazement back toward him. He had made it. He was now here in a huge new world. There were giant spaces of unknown territory and much to discover and learn. He waved to Stanley and Marjorie, missing his friends already and hoping against hope that they, too, could gather the courage to take the leap into the unknown and join him in this glorious, luxurious new place.