I had the good fortune Saturday to attend a writing workshop that Cary Tennis hosts. It was a great pleasure to meet one of the faces from the Open Salon mothership, Salon.com. But it was also really quite interesting to see how the writing workshop worked and to interact with the other writers who dropped in.
Because of time constraints, I only stayed for part of the event, but it was quite interesting. Leafing through images clipped from magazines, we were asked to spend about 20 minutes writing whatever came to mind inspired by one of the images. It was a lot harder than I had expected, and for the first five or so minutes I sat wondering if I'd write anything at all.
Perhaps just a haiku, I though. I often fall back to that when lost for words. But it seemed a cheap way out only because it wasn't what I'd intended to write and I figured I should force myself, so I started just pushing around phrases and trying to make them look like sentences and see if any of it grabbed me.
The picture I'd chosen was a black and white image of a long table with comfortable looking cushions where chairs might have been. The table was low, so sitting on cushions would have been quite comfortable. There were only a few people sitting at a table that could accommodate more. The plates were a covered style that I imagine goes with some particular cuisine, perhaps from Southeast Asia. The people were of various ethnicities, and I guessed perhaps they were vacationers. They weren't eating, but perhaps had recently been fed. They seemed happy.
But what to write?
I was a little surprised at what I wrote. Not completely surprised, but kind of amused because I wasn't conscious of a desire to say those things, or perhaps to use that tone, until it came out. But sometimes you say or write a thing and then say “oh, is that what I think?” It's as if there is an entity inside seeking to express itself that is not in direct communication with the thought process and that one only learns about by listening their own words.
Here's what I wrote:
If you got value from this post, please "rate" it.