Just Write

We all have an intuitive sense. . .

I think we all have an intuitive sense, but we get side-tracked by what others think or we get distracted by all the “noise” both inside our heads and outside. It’s hard to get quiet and listen to what we think. But when we do, we experience the joy of discovering what’s going on for ourselves.

A passage in Reading Water, Lessons From The River, by Rebecca Lawton, describes a situation when Becca was a white water rafting guide and had one person, a friend, in her raft. They capsized, lost the boat and nearly drowned. Becca managed to save the life of her friend.

After it was all over, Becca asked her friend: “Do you regret running it?”

Becca’s friend answered, “It might have been the right choice for you,” she said, “But from now on, I’m making my own decisions.”

Here’s an idea for getting in touch with your intuition and writing deeply.

You can use suggestions for relaxation from the June 24, 2014 Just Write Post, “Listen to your body as a way to creativity.”

Settle comfortably in your chair. Breathe in deeply through your nose. Exhale loudly. Take a few deep breaths and let go. Release your worries. Let go of your fears. Just let go.

Follow your inner sense, your intuition, your gut level feeling  …  pay attention, use what you’ve got. Don’t fight it. Relax into your own judgment and decision making.

Choose a writing prompt and Just Write.

Old meets new bridge.Jim C. March Old bridge meets new. Photo by Jim C. March.





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  1. James Seamarsh

    Marlene – Not sure this is the right place for this comment, but reading this article got me to thinking about honesty, intuition, and intimacy, so I used it as a prompt and ended up writing some background for a tormented character:

    I just wrote a frightening letter to an old friend. Not frightening to him, I hope, but frightening to me. I followed my gut and wrote a letter being honest and open. Not just honest and open about what others might know, but honest and open about things only I know, things about myself, things inside my head, things that make me feel vulnerable and afraid when I say them out loud.

    But I am lonely, loneliness that will kill me if I don’t reach out, loneliness that has been carefully guarded by my fear of being judged, fear of being found out, fear of letting people see the thoughts that overflow my consciousness.

    So I wrote to an old friend, whose age and experience may let him accept me for who I am, whose connection to me I could afford to lose, a friend who lives far enough away that his knowing is unlikely to reach those closer to me, those I am too afraid of losing.

    And so the seeds of intimacy are planted far from home, and should they sprout to life and grow, I will have built another secret, the real me, the honest me becoming closer and closer to distant shores, while my loneliness pushes me away from those nearest to me, and the temptation to climb into the arms of my distant relationship become more and more compelling.

    Why do I let my fear of being judged lead me away from those closest to me? Why can’t I trust that those that love me for who I have been, for who they think I am, will also love me for who I really am, who I have become, who I am becoming? Wouldn’t I do the same?

    What would I do if someone close to me told me they were not who I thought they were? Would I accept them? Love them? My head says yes, my heart says I hope so, but my gut says no. And even though I know the bars to my prison grow stronger with my judgment of others, I hold on to my belief, because then I am right, and righteous, even as the lie inside my head grows, and my world shrinks until I see only two choices: hurting those I love, or hurting myself.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Great use of a prompt, James. . . fleshing out a character. I love ” temptation to climb into the arms of my distant relationship.” I also enjoy the last introspective paragraph. . . a satisfying conclusion to this intimate peek into this character’s thoughts. Thanks for posting.

  2. Ke11y

    I sit across from him, with my legs dangling over the rocky ledge. Six feet of space is all that separates us; and six thousand differences. He stands naked staring out toward the ocean, his clothes piled at his feet.

    There’s no light in his eye, just emptiness; the same emptiness you see in the eye of animal, one restricted to a cage.

    It’s impossible to imagine what the stranger is thinking, or what his perspectives are; standing precariously on the ledge, as he is, between life and death. I could tell him that perceptions change on reaching differing heights; that when I was just three-feet tall everything seemed of the same perfection: merry-go-rounds, rice pudding, Christmas, Bambi, the whole world in fact. By the time I was four-feet high I learned not to save all best things ’til last, understanding that ice cream melts faster in the summer. I’d reached yet another height when I appreciated that beaches, rocks, sea salt and crabs are a far cry from the grocer sprinkling salt on a snowy pavement in front of his shop on Baker Street during those terribly serious winter weekends.

    He makes the slightest movement with his feet. The kind of momentary flap of hesitation a young gull might make before its first venture into the sky. It prompts me, nervously, to state a point of view.

    “Look, even if you were take a real hard run at it, you won’t clear the rocks below.” I say, stating the obvious.

    There’s no intelligible response from him, no sign of life, but for his fingernails scraping blood from his thigh. I make a further observation.

    “Mind you, the best thing about not clearing the rocks is nothing will ever hurt you again. That’s always a plus.” We both stare to the horizon.

    This shoreline, these cliff tops, that small house set back in that copse is where I’ve chosen to settle out my life. It’s a simplistic lifestyle, purposely designed to get away from cross streets, traffic lights, neighbors, and the kinds of day where at any time and for no reason I might feel a sense of terror. No matter how old I get, the same feeling of uncertainty grabs at me, as though I were still a child; where every fright can hold a laugh or a horror, like a Grimms’ fairytale or Halloween.

    Different perspectives have impregnated my thinking like stab wounds. Perspectives changed because of books, divorce, death, war, love, in fact a mushroom cloud of happenings and events, many of which never passed by me too close, but a few important enough to make me wish I’d learned more.

    I don’t want this man to leap to his death, not because I care about him, I don’t. The reason I decided to interfere is simply a matter of selfishness. If he should leap from this rock, so close to my home, I’ll be dealing with the intrusion of police, sightseers, and then, God forbid, the family mourners. For a week people will come to see the rock from which he leapt; crying, leaving flowers, screaming how they didn’t know things were so bad for him. I might as well be back in Baker Street.

    Does he wonder what’s going through my head? Does he care? Of course not, he’s too wrapped up in his own insecurities. I’m so happy here in this place, my cottage, its red bricks, the yellow light through the kitchen window and the love that resides therein. It’s hard to control my dissatisfaction at the thought of his presence. Couldn’t he go through this hateful stuff somewhere else? I can’t fathom why he’d want to contaminate the frothy excitement on the rocks below with the red of his anguish. Does he not know that his chosen demise won’t get a mention back in the concrete world of barking dogs, traffic lights, two wheel bikes, and mad butchers with cleavers? No-one is going to care whether he’s had transsexual therapy, too many martini lunches, or if his car failed a roadworthy test.

    Another flutter of movement sends granules of dust cascading down the face of the rock. That fall of dust prompts me to say something else:

    “By design, just so you know, life is not intended to answer everything.”

    He does not blink, doesn’t hear, and doesn’t care. Does he know how many beaches there are and how many are better suited to his present frame of mind? So I sit while he stands naked against the wind, staring out to sea, and we have no understanding of each other’s perspectives on life. We’re like ill-fitting dentures against the gum of reality. He shifts. A few more granules of dust fly away.

    “Just so you know, I’ll not report the fact you leapt off, if that’s your intention. Oh sure they’ll find you, some days up ahead, it’s a kind of unwritten law; the sea eventually gives up what doesn’t belong to her.”

    At that very moment the temptations of the Beach Goddess must have spoken more sense to him. His clothes, like a memorial on the cliff top, are all that remain of a life once walked here.

    A couple of days from now flowers will bloom where such flowers never grow. They will not last, and when they have gone, the shoreline will become mine again.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Exquisite writing, Kelly. Good pacing, good tension. I love how you tell a story, using specific details, bringing the reader closer to the story: red brick of the cottage, yellow light filtering in the kitchen. I enjoyed the back-and-forth between the narrator and details about the person on the beach. I especially enjoy the philosophical nature of this piece and the lead-in:

      “Another flutter of movement sends granules of dust cascading down the face of the rock. That fall of dust prompts me to say something else:

      ‘By design, just so you know, life is not intended to answer everything.'”

      And the conclusion is gorgeous, eloquent and satisfying, even though a sad ending for both the narrator (dealing with the inevitable fallout) and for the beach person. Definitely enjoyable reading and worth reading more than once.

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