I’m taking today off, but I dug three days straight and you know what July in Missouri is like. Still feeling a little dizzy because of it. And, yesterday evening, if I’m honest, I felt some slight electrical seizure symptoms in my facial muscles. But I want to let you know I, too, enjoyed this physical labor. Of course I had my notebook open on a patio chair and I made poems on the two mornings I dug. Not three, since I started midday Thurs.

IMG_5169Something about the increased blood flow coursing along with my morning coffee in the back yard air really worked for me. I would receive a word, just a simple word, like slow, and sort of hold it in my head, turn it over a few times, and ruminate. Asking what relation the next word would have to the first word. Semantic relation would suggest arduous. Or may be a sonic link would give me low. Like I said, simple.

IMG_5170And in conversation with me and my shovel, the words appeared. Sometimes they came in pairs so I placed two words like planks on the same line separated by some distance. I wanted the eye to land on one by one, one after another, and greet each singly. Other times they came in spurts that were more like thoughts. Dichotomies. Paradoxes. Prayers. And these words I strung together. Chunked. And later on my computer I attempted to reproduce this process with lots of room and spaces between and among the words to encourage a more contemplative experience for the reader.

IMG_5173I feel so good about the experiment I’ve already begun to wonder how else I might incorporate the physical into my morning writing practice. One can’t always have the benefit of a ditch.

2 thoughts on “Ditch-Digger”

  1. One is left to wonder: What exactly is that ditch for?
    There’s something to be said for taking time to taste single words. I’m going to take that with me.


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