from the retreat…
Timed Writing Excerpt
I could reach off this deck past the mischief sign to the spruce and white pine. I could dive into the blue skies past prayer flags. White birch leaves laugh with wind and I think of E. and A. I wonder what the future holds. Today my life feels less like changing diapers. Today my life feels like wind.
A mosquito eater pops up out of the purple mums, distracts me. I hear a siren. A chain saw. The white rockers legs on the deck where two others writers sit moving their pens across the page.
The future I put on hold opens to me today. Just writing these words sounds cliche and I feel I ought to better ground myself with the sound of chipmunks and birds. A distant motorcycle growls on the highway. I think, “Mischief next to the germanium on the deck at Joy Center.”
How’s that for a line?
Get your horses in a row and breathe deep the pine. Cup in your palm a fallen red leaf, or crumple it underfoot. But remember to breathe in autumn once back in the busy world.
Seven or eight stones all heart shaped rest on the railing. Do I want to rest on a railing, lean where safe? Or leap into the forest. Mischief is yellow and green surrounded by red-orange passion. And I decide to leap!
Helen Haskell-Remien is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at NMU, and is director of the Joy Center, a creativity center in Ishpeming. I attended "Finding Your Way Home: A Writing Retreat this weekend (9/19).