Random Associations

Ugh. Insomnia. And it’s the fuzzy-headed kind. Trying to head off a cold, I took a tablet before bed that has zinc and valerian in it. I slept soundly for about five hours, and then that was it. Sometimes I can starting listing the countries of the world, and I’ll fall back to sleep before I can fill a continent, but tonight I got through all of them, and here I am, still awake. By the time I got through South America and was working my way through Africa, I knew I was done for. And now, it’s only half an hour until my alarm goes off, so I might as well start the process of waking up.

Today in Creative Writing, we’ll look at the pictures and poems that people put together with their random words. I showed several of my own on Friday as examples, so I don’t know if I’ll put up pictures like this one. I just pulled fifteen random cards from my word tickets and arranged them together. I’m not sure I like the line “dance wanderer combust.” The flow feels wrong, like I’m packing too many syllables into it. I like the word wanderer on its own, but in some contexts, that “-erer” can sound like a car with an engine that won’t turn over.

I hope my students are feeling the sense of freedom from prescribed meaning that I am feeling from working with word pools. We’ll get into intentional meanings soon enough, but it’s a nice breath to begin the semester with nonsense and random associations. It’s been an odd experience for me, a little risky. I feel sort of vulnerable, like I am letting my students in to my own personal crazy. I keep worrying that they’ll start rolling their eyes, that they won’t get it. And this is so deeply connected to the way my brain works that I feel like I might feel a greater sense of personal rejection if they can’t get into it. Enough of them have sent me fantastic random word projects, however, that I am feeling less anxious about it.

Gratitude List:
1. The shadows that swoop through the woods behind the house when vultures are flying in front of the sun.
2. Random meanings plucked from odd associations
3. Even though sleep was short, I did get some good solid hours of deep sleep
4. The ones who work for justice
5. Warm blankets

May we walk in Beauty!

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