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Healing Prompt: Writing for Myself

July 30, 2017

 The art of writing for oneself can be extremely beneficial as a tool for healing. The writing doesn't have to be about anything in particular and it especially doesn't have to be about whatever might be bothering you. Writing works as a wonderful tool to not only distract the mind, but to loosen it up as well. One option for writing is to open a book, select a sentence at random, and use that sentence as the first sentence of your narrative. Alternatively, you can either search for prompts online, create your own, or use one from a book.

 

Here's a writing prompt that I wrote to this evening to calm my mind, to distract myself from my anxiety. Why don't you give it a shot? Feel free to post your responses in the comments!

 

Prompt: Describe a cave that someone has been living in.

 

Response:

            The small room in the cave was cold, I suspect somewhere around the fifty degree mark, as caves usually are, but not for lack of trying. Whoever had called this hole home had hung rugs of every shape, size, color, and style across the stone walls, no doubt trying to insulate and preserve heat. A zebra striped area rug was lined with classic paisley runners on either side and a large, hand-painted rug with a clown on the front was next to that. The bizarre nature of the rugs continued on. An African print with elephants, childish daisies, small circular rugs, rugs that went around toilets. All were hanging on the stone. On the wall at the far end of the cave, the furthest wall in, a makeshift fireplace was set up. No doubt the room would have stayed considerably warmer with the crackling fire in addition to the unique tapestries.

 

Next to the fireplace was a worn and cracked leather armchair, the kind that rocked back and forth. Pieces of the leather were missing here and there and it looked as if it had been left out in the rain more than once, but a handmade blanket lovingly covered its shoulders, hiding most of the damage. Next to the chair was a small side table. It was square, wooden, and scratched to all hell. On top of that was a small bankers lamp. A single bare bulb sat cold and dark underneath the curved green visor, the power plug having nowhere whatsoever to be plugged in to.

 

On an old clothing rack, the kind used to return merchandise from fitting rooms to the main body of the store, a bleach-stained, baby-blue sheet was hung with an awkward rectangle doorway cut into it. This ‘wall’ separated the ‘living room’ from the ‘kitchen’. The kitchen held a small rounded firepit made out of stacked stones with a tripod and a pot standing over it. Two old recycling bins were used as a makeshift sink, presumably one of them was the wash bucket while the other was for rinsing. They were bright red. A dollar general shopping cart seemed to be acting as a pantry for food storage, though there was no sort of fridge or freezer to be found. Off to one side of the kitchen area, an old, four-legged table stood on three legs and held a single chair. A large doily covered the surface, which I imagine would have been scratched and whittled with age, and a cover had been sewn for the chair out of a blue-checkered table cloth.

 

Another clothing rack, this time with a floral sheet as a doorway, separated the kitchen from the bedroom. Thick, musty blankets laid stacked on top of one another on the dusty floor, so many that the ‘bed’ became several inches think and just might have actually been comfortable to sleep on. Throw pillows were thrown towards one end of the blankets, most likely the top of the bed, and the very top layer was peeled back, almost as if a hotel maid had made the bed. Another clothing rack held an assortment of old jackets, patched up jeans, and worn out t-shirts directly next to the bed, closing it in like a hospital bed between two curtained walls of sorts.

 

On the other side of the clothing rack with the clothes was what must have been a bathroom. There were four buckets, two for washing and two for…well, you know. I ignored the waste buckets and turned my attention to the rather elaborate shower situation that was going on. On the floor was a blue plastic kiddie pool, the bottom grimy with dirt and mildew, and a bucket was attached to a pulley system for rinsing. Shampoo and soap sat on a three-legged stool beside the pool and the ‘towel rack’ doubled as another clothing rack with a gray, jersey-knit sheet as a door. Then, you were back in the living room, admiring the strange carpets and rugs that littered the walls and wondering, no doubt, how the hell someone managed to live like this for so long.

 

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