Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings

This is an interesting game for a writer. Or at least a writer who doesn't have to shovel this stuff during the week with her/his patients. LunaNina has had this challenge up for quite a while. This group of ten words is labelled "Week 131." Fortunately, it wouldn't appear to be a handi-cap starting so late in such an exercise:

Free association is described as a "psychonanalytic procedure in which a person is encouraged to give free rein to his or her thoughts and feelings, verbalizing whatever comes into the mind without monitoring its content." Over time, this technique is supposed to help bring forth repressed thoughts and feelings that the person can then work through to gain a better sense of self.

That's an admirable goal, but for the purposes of this excercise, we're just hoping to have a little fun with the technique. Each week I'll post ten words to which you can respond to with the first thing that comes to mind.

"Rules are, there are no rules." There are no right or wrong answers. Don't limit yourself to one word responses; just say everything that pops into your head. AND you don't have to have your words up on Sunday. Take all week if you want!
So here's the first group.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Week 131

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Complexion:: change.
    As in "well, that changes the whole complexion of things, doesn't it, Watson?"

  2. Teach::Learn
    Also "listen" and "lead"...

  3. Back to school:: Beginnings.
    New shoes. The smell of floor polish. Echoes in the gym. Being so hungry at lunch. Orderly notebooks and sharp pencils. The distant sound of band practice across the field. New books to read ahead and be bored when they're done.

  4. Months:: Late.
    As in "Oops...it's been months since I reconciled the checkbook." But when I was younger it was "oops, I'm two months late..."

  5. Nominate:: The Watcher of Weasels Council.
    Hard choices.

  6. Favorite curse word:: Lordy!
    "I swan" is pretty good, too. "Sacre bleu" would be good except I can't get the 'r' right.

  7. Concerned:: parents of teenagers.
    Constant mode of being for anyone parenting a whacko adolescent (and they're all whacko).

  8. Better:: Butter is.
    I loathe and detest margarine. Always did, even when I was poor.

  9. Escalate:: Up the ante.
    And then some.

  10. Unveil:: Don't.
    Cover it back up. Thanks.
That was...ummm...interesting. It's probably an accumulative process. Correct procedure requires a button to link to her blog. I may do that.

One of my favorite writing exercises is to write for ten minutes using words of only one syllable. It's not easy. For example, can you think of a one syllable word for "easy"? I use "not hard." In other words, you can cheat a bit by being indirect.
The good thing about this exercise is that when it's over you're quite focused for awhile. It's almost like meditation.

Another favorite: write a letter, note, email, or just a meditation without using any first person references. See if the recipient even notices. Sometimes it flows very smoothly and seems natural to the reader, but not always. There are cases when it becomes awkward. Still, doesn't it remind you of John the Baptist's saying about "He must increase..."? It resonates.

The paragraph just above this one followed that rule (so will this one) about the use of first person references. It was fun, too. In the beginning -- back some years ago now -- it was a struggle to omit the self from everything...which is understandable considering that Self is the center of the universe...what do you mean, you're the center? No way, Jose. Anyone can tell you: it's rightchere.

Try it sometime.


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