What’s Your Story?

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That’s essentially my take on life at this point.

As I write this, I sit with a scratchy throat of which I will throw miniature tantrums over until it is gone.

Thank you all for the 400 followers, that’s more than I could have hoped for in the beginning of this blog. For the new comers, welcome, you don’t know what you signed up for but thanks for signing up.

Anyway, this semester I’m taking a creative writing course. We cover fiction, drama, and poetry  and it’s been an interesting experience thus far.

I know the blog-sphere is full of published writers, non-published writers, want-to-be published writers, want-to-not-be-published writers, writers who are a million times better than I could hope to be, and beginners. So periodically I’d like to share some of the different outlines we use to spark creativity, and I’ll probably share excerpts of my own until people get annoyed with my shitty . . . shit.

My vocabulary is astounding.

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This week, the first week of classes, she had us describe our life in six words. Then, as a twist after we came up with the stupidest things we could have thought of, she decided to let us go home with an assignment of “develop a 250 word ‘Story of your life’, all centered around the six sloppily thrown together words you came up with”.

Everyone else came up with things like “Born and raised in California, Baby” or used words to describe their life like “shy girl, no friends, something, something” (I can’t remember what everyone fucking said).

Me? No, my brain is a magnet for the abstract, so my phrase was “Fire, water, and some more fire”.

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Here is the 250 rough draft I slapped together over these last few minutes:

In the beginning, there was fire.

Fire foretold more fire, but in a foreign language and therefore was incomprehensible. I came into the world with little fight and a naïve sense of security that the fire would soon target, lock, and destroy.  The flame first licked my skin in infancy when my cries of confusion were met only with a discontented “girl, you better shut up!”. The flame encased the house at the discovery of alcohol and narcotics, and scorched my skin with the disadvantages of poverty and eviction. Although the number one antagonist, the flame and I danced our way through life side by side, lost without each other and lonely without the misery of one another.All that flew from my mouth was fire, all that perspired from my pores was lava, and all that my emotions could emulate was the reaction of cesium in water.

Education enticed the flame larger. Written word was my only true form of communication, spoken word a mystery but required nonetheless. Barked phrases of “speak up!” Or “you’re too quiet” haunted my nightmares and I, verbally inept, silenced myself to avoid the struggle of fighting for words in my own mind.

Water doused the edge of the flames at 18 when I saw through the smoke screen that the fire and I were never friends,but parasitic leeches upon one another. Water brought the gentle and fierce understanding fire would always exist, but that the heat could always be lessened.

Now.

First of all, excuse any mistakes, this is a rough draft. A very rough draft.

That is also a very accurate description of my life, however abstract. I wanted to have people read it first before I give my theory on where all of that came from.

From it I gather I’ve described the “fire” part of my life, the unpredictable yet somehow almost predestined drama and anger and pain and stupidity that accompanied me from infancy, the part which I regarded as my best friend, my loyal friend, as a parasite.

I didn’t learn how parasitic until the water came. I represent maturity and growth and selfflowing_over_dam3 realization with water because water knows when it needs to rage downstream or across mountain ridges. It knows when it needs to make itself known. It knows when to remain calm and still and let life carry on around it. It allows us to drink from it and suffer the consequences when we get too greedy. There’s an ancient wisdom about water, I think. It doesn’t flow against any force, not unless that’s what life requires, but it does flow with force, just enough to get it from point A to B.

ca-wild-fire-2-9-15A fire scorches everything it touches, whether the intention to do so is there or not. A small fire is still a fire; the only difference between a small one and a large one is that a large one covers more ground. There’s always an element of loss of control around a fire. It’s not about whether a fire will soak into the carpet or just dry on the wall and evaporate: it will spread wherever it pleases, swallowing everything in its path and leaves only charred remnants behind. That, I attribute, to my volatile attitude of my child-self, of the attitudes around me, of the unfortunate events that always seemed to surround me, and, at one confused point in time, to my mental health status.

I didn’t learn any of those metaphors until I finished writing. That’s the amazing thing about writing: one minute you have nothing and the next minute you have something.

I think this exercise is good for someone struggling to really put the pieces of their life together. I’m really anal about following instructions (you can count if you want, that excerpt is exactly 250 words), but it’s not necessary. I’m personally someone who needs to work on condensing my ideas.

At any rate, like I said, it’s good for anyone who would like to learn more about themselves, or bring together past events that were otherwise difficult to think about. Representing them abstractly seems to have helped me process some things, to show me that what I experienced is also something nature experiences, something we all experience, even animals. For whatever reason, that brings a bit of peace to my mind.

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