Writing Inside the House
A Repulsive Object
Find an object in your environment that you are naturally repulsed by. This may be an everyday object like a crumb or a piece of trash, or it might be something that evokes bad memories for you. Pick up the object and hold it in your hands. Turn it over. Hold it to your face (as long as it won’t hurt you). Hold it to your ear. Then, set a timer for ten minutes. First, describe the object, and then write every thought you have that corresponds to that object. These might be memories, feelings, or other ideas. Do this for ten minutes only.
Part II (optional): Then, spend some time researching the history of your object. See if you can combine this research into your writing as well.
Perhaps you remember the game “Musical Chairs” from childhood. How nerve-wracking it was not to have a chair. To compete with other people for one. A chair means safety, a place upon which to perch, to work, to gaze at the world. Imagine our early human ancestors, the rocks and trees they sat on. Now, gather all the chairs in your house and push them together in a group. Take turns sitting in each. Write for at least one minute in each chair. After describing the chair, its qualities, describe the memories you have in that specific chair. Write until you cannot remember anything else that you’ve experienced in that chair.
Freezers contain all sorts of mysteries, as we often forget things in there for years on end. Imagine ancient mammoths frozen in ice, time slowed. Go to the freezer and grab the first three items you see and bring them back to your desk with you. Touch everything very carefully, as if you are a crime scene investigator. Crunch the frozen blueberries in your hand. Open the bag of crushed ice and smell it. Look at the language written on your items. Now write through the items from the freezer, while meditating on the concept of time.