I love my writing group. We meet twice a month, we chat about all things. Today we talked about our writing, the world around us, our lives, our privilege, our stories, our families. As a writer you put it all out there and when you meet up with other writers there is not much that’s off limits.
We also try and do some writing during our time together. Generally, we have a prompt or a topic someone brings up. I have been collecting prompts lately. Hoping they will inspire creativity and if nothing else, so I have something to bring to the group.
Today’s prompt came from a weekly newsletter I have been getting from Solekia Jaouad. I signed up for her newsletter after finishing her book Between Two Kingdoms, I loved her story and her style and I didn’t want the book to end, I felt like I became her friend.
This was the prompt (and my response below): Choose a piece of art—a favorite painting, a sculpture, a movie, a photograph, a song. Study it, noting the details and what they evoke. Then write about it—what you saw or heard, what you felt, what it meant to you.
The collection of postcards on the wall, mounted and framed. It’s not the best piece of art work, but we have never been the type to have fancy art. It was gift for Andrew after our trip. I had high hopes of making two pieces, we bought two packs of National Park Postcards, because I was planning on making one piece for home and one for his office. After looking at the two packs of postcards for over a year, I finally got my act together, pulled out the cards from the parks we had been to and took the pile to the frame shop. Sorted them in alphabetical order and trusted they would make it look how I imagine my art piece for the past two years. He was surprised when I wrapped it and gave it to him for a birthday present. There would be only one, it would stay at home.
It’s a reminder of our travels, of the places we have been. Of the experiences, the hikes, the sunset and the sunrises we have shared as a family. Each card has a story, even if that story is, we just drove through, but I need another card so that the print was balanced. The others are stories that recapture the moments of time. When we hiked into the Grand Canyon and were so proud of our little girls. Or the time I gave our family a double dose of Dramamine and nearly ruined our visit to Dry Tortugas. There are other memories of fear and anxiety climbing into Wind Caves or the realization that mom isn’t perfect, when the girls caught me smoking pot in Zion. They are all stories, good, bad, minimal or extra.
The art isn’t amazing. The photos are colorful, nostalgic and simple. And while there is plenty of art out in the world that might blow your mind with details and abstraction, what makes this piece noteworthy is that it represents our life, which is also colorful, nostalgic and simple.