NOTE: This is a start to Prompt 86 posted in the Isolation Journal and suggested by my writing club member Pencil On My Back Porch. Prompted to choose 5 words (see full prompt below), I did choose 3 – postcard, clothesline, and popcorn around the theme of vacation but share just one here today.
First, four postcards are purchased from the art museum’s giftshop. Then, like a magician’s card trick, “Pick a card, any card” action allows each – dad, mom and two daughters – with card in hand, to begin the mystery game. The winner, the one who most spies with my little eye the painting on a wall matching the one depicted on the postcard. The prize, an extra scoop of ice cream for dessert.
These are the directions followed to keep the seven and eleven year olds engaged as the family of four tour the Prado Museum in Madrid. The day ahead will include so much walking, so many large paintings of anonomous people and places, so much staring. Yet the postcard game keeps all actively engaged.
“I found it! One down, three to go!” she shouted. And the four countinue down the corridor with the vaulted, enormous ceiling overhead. Sleuthing and appreciating art, playing the postcard game.
Isolation Journal DAY 86. JENNY BOULLY
When memories make themselves manifest, they alight like butterflies—fleeting, momentary, ineffable, seemingly uncapturable. The task of the writer then, having had the epiphany embedded within memory, is to relate not only the message from the dream embedded within the memory, but to also articulate, in language, that nebulous nature of the memory. How then do we encapsulate the memory in a way that also preserves its transitory nature?
Your prompt for today:
Pick five items from the list below.
popcorn * lettuce * iceberg * cotton candy * puffs * sugar cubes * dandelions * buttercups * pallbearer * clothesline * National Geographic * fire ants * watermelon * sunflowers * ticket stub * campfire * satellite * fish scales * baby powder * quilt * broach * barrette * tin can * bingo * Ferris wheel * frisbee * legumes * lima beans * caterpillar * earthworm * mockingbird * wagon * shaved ice * envelope * rotary phone * silk glove * single shoe * postcard * diner * cheese * houseplant * canoe * sharpened pencil * glue * lunch box
Then, write one memory associated with the item—or write associations you have of this item—in 200 words or less. Limit the use of “I.” Refrain from stating any emotions. Like dreamscapes, rely on images to convey feeling. Assemble these memory fragments into a collage-essay. Give it a one-word title.
Bonus: For the future, or to grow your memoir-fragments, you can make your own lists of random words, pick words at random from various books and dictionaries, or have friends generate lists.