Every Day is a Poem, Writing Challenge Day #2 - Make Meaning

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Every Day a Poem by Jaqueline Suskin

As I shared in day one, part of my 2021 Year Of Marilyn Bucket List Challenge is to push my writing in new directions.  Those directions don't have to create published works. They only have to exercise my writing muscles in new ways.

Day 2's exercise in Every Day is a Poem by Jacqueline Suskin is example of that. It pushes me to think in terms of symbols and symbols can be very important when sharing written stories, as well as create deeper meaning in our own lives. 

"If we want to saturate our lives with meaning, we can create our very own mythologies to carry with us where ever we go."  - Every Day is a Poem.

The writing prompt this day was to think of five things that are significant to me and give them a symbol, then explore why I choose each symbol? The five that leapt out were easy. Choosing their symbols took more thought

"I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something else. " - Hermann Hesse

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Day 2 - Make Meaning

The five things significant I chose come from deep within.  Home, family, and sharing food are embedded in my DNA.  As money was tight when I was growing up, visiting family was how we spent most of our holidays and vacations. Next on the list - my husband curling around me when I come to bed - is my favorite moment of the day. It is his ultimate expression of love. I feel cared for, nurtured and protected. 

Last on the list is nature.  It's only in recent years I discovered how restorative nature is for me.  Walking along the river, sitting listening in the forest... It doesn't matter where I step into nature, just that I close my eyes and listen.  And if weather and the elements permit, taking my shoes off and standing barefoot increases the effect.  It feels like I am putting roots right down into the earth. 

Home - Home means security to me.  It is where I shut the world out. It if my refuge in a storm. It is where I sleep and eat and dream. So for home I choose a treehouse.  I chose a fantastical treehouse with a crazy wild ladder that takes me up high in the sky. A Tim Burton creation.  I am safe.

Family - I grew up poor and family was the focus.  We camped in each other's houses. We spent holidays visiting each other. Special occasions were only special because we were together laughing, doing jigsaw puzzles, playing games, sharing food.  A holiday gained it's meaning because it was attached to family, and meaningless without it.  So for Family I chose the image of a mother cat tucked amongst a new litter of kittens, all piled on top of each other. Together - gaining warmth and love from each other. 

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Sharing Food -
 This is so connected to my deepest roots. I love offering a meal around a table to friends and family. It's while sharing food and stories and laughter, that we connect deeply and create new memories.  A holiday or event spent alone doesn't really exist for me.  It's a nothing day. For me it's while sharing the moment with others that I find meaning. For me the best image to evoke this meaning is a large table set with food ready to eat. 

My husband curled around me - My husband is an early to bed person so is often in bed by 10 p.m.  I am a night owl and often fall asleep in front of the TV and stumble to bed at some ungodly hour.  But every time, without fail, he spoons around with with his warm body and I instantly relax into the warmth and fall back to sleep. For me it is the ultimate expression of his love.  For this I choose the image of two large spoons resting together. Every time I open the utensil drawer and stacked spoons, I chose to bring this meaning to mind. 

Nature - For some reason nature is my go to place to quiet the storm of my ADD chaotic mind and emotions - especially it that nature is connected to water.  Just sitting on a log at a beach listening to the roar of the surf, or even along a river with the sounds of the current moving across boulders will calm my mind in a way nothing else does.  So the image I chose for this would be ocean waves breaking on a beach. 

If any of this intrigues you, I suggest you order a copy of Every Day is a Poem and start working your way through it. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.