Writing Exercise


My head hurts.  This is not a new problem.  This is an old problem I’ve been dealing with for a long time.  I don’t want to talk about it.  I just want it to go away.  It ruins my tolerance for noise, light, and stupid people.  As I am in class, there are stupid people aplenty, or rather, people I perceive as stupid, but who might actually be genuinely intelligent.  Patience is a virtue.  I will remember that.

I think it was Monday when I decided to do a writing exercise on my way to my car.  The olfactory sense is one of those people struggle with when description is needed in a text.  Most of our adjectives focus on vision, making taste and scent very tricky to enunciate.  Yet scent is the sense most strongly related memory, and herein I found a direction to take.  Here is my exercise:

Take deep breaths through the nose and mouth.

When a distinctive scent is discovered, close your eyes and work to memorize it.

DO NOT TRY TO DESCRIBE THE SCENT USING ADJECTIVES.

Instead, grab the memory that pops up with the scent.

Here are my results are:

Walking back to my car, I traversed childhood playgrounds, the blisters from the monkey bars, the heavy impact after leaping, flying from the plastic seat of the swings.

I found my steps following the familiar sidewalk, the hard plastic French horn case thunking hollowly against the back of my knee, somehow alone.

That’s much better than smelling mulch and cold, right?

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