Survive and Thrive Workshop


One of the really good reasons for having a best friend as an English major is that you get invited to join in such things as writing workshops on occasion. This is one of those times.

Our writing prompt for the day was this: What are your two most prevalent inner landscapes and how would you describe them?

My response?

My inner landscapes…. I’m not really sure they can be separated.

After all, can a person separate a piece of themselves from himself? There’s certainly a farm, although it’s been many many years since I’ve actually spent a goodly amount of time there.

As if that matters.

It is as vivid in my mind as this afternoon’s lunch.

There’s a hill across the gravel road that always seemed huge to me, which in reality is probably much more considered a grassy knoll.

Forgive me. I was small when last I saw it.

A barn, where countless hours were spent shoveling cow manure to the musical ramblings of The Judds and Alan Jackson.

I do wonder now why shoveling shit held such glamorous allure for a ten-year-old. Odd.

Over there, an almost matched pair of classic Chevy trucks are parked, given new life by a cousin I always thought was “the coolest”.

Behind the barn sits a row of pig huts, and beyond that a rather unimpressive cattle pasture seemingly bare of grasses, but still entertaining enough that I spent hours wrestling boulders the size of my head up,catapulting them onto the barely crusted-over cow pies.

What glorious explosions of leafy green poop!

I grin to myself, remembering the thrill.

That was then, a simpler, more innocent time, but it’s still here within me somewhere.

Moving on.

The landscape of now is rife with imagination; mixed, too, with the stress and unease of humdrum, everyday life.

Oz, Neverland, Wonderland, and Willa Wonka’s Chocolate Factory all appear at times, though my yellow-brick road is sometimes blocked with piles of unpaid bills and regrets.

No. No regrets. I must remember there are no regrets, only choices that have taught me more than I might otherwise have known.

To my left is Ireland, because who DOESN’T want to go to Ireland?

It is, after all, the place where all the epic fantasy movies are made.

Alice’s white rabbit runs past, late as always, across the moors of England to my right.

You know- the ones Eustacia Vye spent so much time on.

It depends on which day you are here, what other places you might see.

New York City is never too far, the night lights of which rival Vegas, which is just there.

You see? Don’t mind the mostly nude women walking about- we all need something pretty to look at.

If you prefer, I can point you in the direction of the menagerie.

The unicorns and mermaids will be awake by the time you get there.

Of course, it snows on occasion, because I AM from Minnesota; our weather here can be….fickle. worries. The sun will come out tomorrow.

A little red-headed orphan told me so.

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