Sunday, April 20, 2014

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Explore Your Senses and Write
Want to write and don’t know what to write about? Explore your senses and write about the experience as fully as you can. Put a strawberry in your mouth. Let your mouth feel it before you bite into it. Take a bite. Relish the flavor. Is there more than one taste? Does it taste sweet? Wild? Slightly sour? Refreshing? Healthy? How many ways can you describe the flavor?

Now swallow that bite of strawberry. Does it taste different as you swallow it? How does your mouth feel after you’ve swallowed? Is there still a sweet and juicy taste? Do you want another bite? Why? What does the taste remind you of in your past?

With that last question, we move from description to reflection. Now we’re thinking about what the taste of strawberries means to us. What memores do we associate with strawberries? Great desserts? Eating that first strawberry of the year? Do we remember finding wild strawberries in the yard? How small and sweet they were? What feelings do these memories evoke? Choosing a single sense to explore can explode into a nostalgic bonanza.

We begin with simple description. We could even start with a simple visual description. The luscious red of the berry. The sprinkling of tiny seeds on the berry. The rich contrast of the green leaves. All of these elements of descriptions go back to our five sennes, and when we bring them together in a piece of writing, a new wholeness begins to emerge–a wholeness that we may not even have imagined when we began. So, choose a sense. Explore it. See where it leads. And enjoy.
 
Image: Courtesy of Mandi Bradshaw

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