Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Reflection–Dynamism and Stasis
I’m caught by the notion of stasis implicit in the dynamics of reflection. When we think visually of a reflection, for example, mountains and trees reflected in a pool of water, the dynamism occurs in the act of reflection–the bending back of the light rays–but the reflection itself is static (supposing the day to be windless and the water still). I believe part of the charm of reflections is this coexistence of opposites–the stasis and the dynamism together in the same experience.
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:27:00 PMComments 0
Road Trip to the Beach: Part I
I saw the ocean for the first time when I was seventeen. It was a cold, gray day but the ocean seemed infinite and I fell in love. After many other beach trips, mostly sunny and filled with play, my delight in the ocean has continued to grow. The sea and the beach always call my name.
 
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:37:00 PMComments 0
Beach Road Trip: Part II
Before we headed on to the beach the next morning, we gassed Crawford’s Firebird up in Laurel Hill at a country store called Cash on the Barrel Head that Junie’s pop ran. In the store Walter Cronkite was always pea-green on the huge television in the store because her dad was color blind and never bothered to adjust the color. We chose sodas from the old fashioned coke case where you had to stick your arm down into a slurry of ice and freezing cold water. Somehow the cokes always tasted better from there. Junie would hug her dad and we’d be off. Sometimes we tried to time the trip so we could go to Calabash where everyone headed for seafood before we set up camp at Huntington Beach State Park, and sometimes we just headed straight to the beach.
Posted by on 10/20/2013 11:18:00 AMComments 0
Childhood Road Trips
My earliest road trip memories come from when my family traveled a couple of time a year from western North Carolina across the Smokey Mountains to visit my father’s parents on the family farm in eastern Kentucky. Interstates 40 and 75 didn’t exist then, so we usually followed U.S. 25 north across the southwestern tip of Virginia into eastern Kentucky. U.S. 25 was then a narrow two-lane road that wound and twisted through steep mountain passes and along the French Broad and Cumberland rivers. Drop-offs on the outer edge of the road plunged down steeply into valleys into what were called “The Nars,” small narrow gaps between the mountains. Sometimes we drove through the “The Nars” and other times we wound our way to the top of a steep mountains then and down again.
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:41:00 PMComments 0
Mind Drift and Writing Prompts
Letting our minds drift is a good way to stir our creativity. A major pull of reflective writing is the freedom to drift, letting one idea, one image connect with another–seeing a rocking chair in a magazine ad and having it call up a memory of rocking on a screened porch in the South, sipping sweet tea and snapping green beans. Thinking about green beans brings the memory of the rows of beautiful home-canned green beans my mother put up every summer and stored on the pantry shelves, saving them for delicious meals later in the winter. That memory makes me wonder whatever happened to home canning? Do many people still home can their vegetables, or is it cheaper and easier to get them at the grocery stores?
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:43:00 PMComments 0
Epic Moment—Learning to Read
I remember the exact moment I realized I could read. I was in (hmmm . . . I think) the second grade. My family lived in a large drafty old house, and on Sunday mornings my father would get up early and light a fire in the livingroom fireplace to warm the house up. Then he read me the “funnies” from the Sunday newspaper. This time was a special ritual for me. The house was quiet. The fire was roaring. The cartoon “funnies” made me laugh.
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:46:00 PMComments 0
Threading Our Way toward Wholeness by Writing
Reflective writing is a conduit for memory. One prime stimulus for eliciting memories for reflection is returning to a location where one has spent time in the past. Twice I have returned to live in an area where I lived previously. The first time, ironically, I was returning to a community just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, the town that author Thomas Wolfe made famous in his novel You Can’t Go Home Again.
Posted by on 10/20/2013 10:40:00 AMComments 0
Writing and Memory
Memory plays a major role in the process of writing–from short-term memory in the prefrontal lobe that holds the current intention to write to long-term memories in the hippocampus and cortex that hold the knowledge of how to form letters, spell words, create sentences, and organize ideas. Long-term memories are later stored in the cortex and provide a wealth of background information for the writer. Memory function in the hippocampus also helps sort associations and logical patterns that we apply to organize our experience and thus shape and connect our ideas in our writing, for example, through comparison and contrast or seeing cause and effect patterns.
Posted by on 10/20/2013 9:44:00 AMComments 0
The Nature of Reflection
Reflecting on Language: My father had a passion for words that never dimmed. My clearest memory of him is seeing him sitting on the couch, reading, various dictionaries lined up on the couch beside him. Daddy had dictionaries for different purposes and liked to use them all. I inherited his love of words and am always curious about the etymology of words I encounter. I enjoy learning when words first appeared in English and how their defintions differ or change over time.
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:07:00 PMComments 0
Writing about Place
We can write about place as a way of exploring and tracing our inner landscape. Feelings and memories resound like chords of music as we envision a particular place we have lived or visited. The memory unfolds and we are there with our senses enlivening the lyrical experience.
Posted by on 11/9/2013 8:02:00 PMComments 0


 
 
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