CJ says . . .

If I were a fish, I thought, I’d like grasshoppers. Their leggy bodies moved like drawings against the confines of the Mason jar.

Dragonflies skimmed the surface of the water racing liquid shadows. Grandma cast her pole in and leaned back on the gravel sandbar, big legs stretched stick straight, ankles crossed, rod in one hand, and line in the other, feeling for movement, and waiting.

I sat beside her memorizing the shape and color of plants along the creek bank, watching the sky as the sun shifted, feeling safe on the crumbling bank.

Picked grass and braided it like hair.

Organized twigs into piles by shape and scale; peeled gray bark off like skinned knees and ran my fingers over the hard surface.

What have you seen today?


50 responses

  1. Today, I saw white bowl brimming with thick, homemade, tomato-basil-parmesan soup, sherry shimmering in each spoonful that warmed me from tongue to tummy as I watched a good friend fork up fusilli in pesto and listen to me rant about how badly my latest chapter is going.

      • Two hours wasted trying to get two people who are not touchy-feely and hate apologizing to forgive each other while moving the plot forward.


        Much better after lunch, the above comment, and a quick FB chat with another writer friend who told me to go write garbage for a while on purpose. I told him that wouldn’t be much of a stretch, since I’d been writing junk all morning and couldn’t I cut to the chase?

        But damned it it didn’t work.

        • That’s why I like writing with a pen so much. My handwriting is awful, and half the page ends up being scratched out and covered with cryptic marginalia and arrows this way and that. I think it really helps to let the work start out ugly and become gradually more polished.

          That soup sounds delicious, by the way.

  2. I have seen the world. It is not my oyster, but is tasty enough.

    I have seen my wife, who is a font of constant surprise.

    I have seen my son, who is a stalwart young man.

    I have seen the crows commuting overhead at sunrise.

    I have seen the stains where one of my damned cats pissed on my backpack.

    I have seen my place of employment, which is even now beckoning to me with its money-engrubbed fingers.

  3. Averil did you take the photo? It is lovely.

    I have seen a writer I admire willing to share another’s work–and that is a wonderful thing.

    Thank you

  4. The new view from my writing chair, now tucked into the corner of our bedroom– I used to look at my bookshelf and up through the skylight but now, when I look up from the screen, the bed fills my view. I wonder if I’ll start writing about relationships. I wonder if I’ll ever try to write about sex. The bed is making me a little nervous, the elephant in the room, but I’ll get used to it.

  5. ‘Poetry’ is the right category for this.
    Today I saw paints and hot salad and floorboards and the largest stations of the cross North of the Alps.

  6. I haven’t seen anything today that would compare with what CJ saw —- gorgeous, it was. But on my dog walks this morning (yes, that’s walks, plural, oy) the fist-sized crimson and pink flowers had fully bloomed and the honeysuckle was so thick at points I had to hold my breath or lean away.

  7. I saw two women, one very thin, the other not thin. They had the same shade of hair. Almost black. They wore the same shade of electric blue. One sweater, one store uniform. Their southern country accents rippled across the tiny parking lot and faded into the yellow blooms of the Forsythia bushes.

    And just now? I saw a cat licking its butt.

  8. “Picked grass and braided it like hair.” I love this. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a universal act amongst girls.

    I thought this particular chapter of CJ’s story was beautiful. I just reread it. “Can’t shake it out, get it off, and get over it. May not even want to.” What a perfect last line.

    Today I didn’t see much. My eyes were trained on the kids but yesterday I saw a man who looked like half his head had been dunked in white paint. From his beard all the way to the back of his head, he was half white and half brown. I’d swear it wasn’t an artistic statement. The man was clearly suffering from something.

  9. pssst… Averil! Over here! I got a picture of Rick Santorum’s face made outta gay porn. No shit. Giancarlo over at New York Tyrant posted it to his Facebook doohickie. Wanna see?

  10. Today I saw a man in scrubs, mid to late fifties, fit and strong and of few words. I saw the look on his face when he saw the mess that is my leg, and the way he shook his head when he asked who was responsible for its repair.
    Then the other calculating look when he asked if my parents are still alive, and how old they are.
    And in the end, as he shook my hand goodbye, a third look that said Ok, you are worth the trouble, you are my patient now, and I will gather all possible information, and bring all my strength and skill, and I will cut you and drill you and screw things together if that’s what is needed.
    Looks like I have The Back Surgeon on my side.
    And I saw Ms iSkirt’s face, and then I knew I wasn’t wrong, and that it was better than good.

    • Thank god, after the note you left on my last post I’m really starting to get worried. Did they put you on the schedule yet? How long before the surgery??

      • Ah, don’t worry, I’m fine. Just a drama queen is all. As long as the place doesn’t catch on fire I’ll be fine. But I’m getting the fuck off that Lyrica. I hate being fat.
        I gotta have another MRI before he puts me on the schedule, cos I haven’t had one for 10 months and he wants to see what’s there now.
        Lucky for me my parents are still alive. I got the feeling if they weren’t he’d have just let me get old and die without fixing it.
        Thanks Oldies !

  11. Ha ha. Yup. That’s kind of it.
    I’m just so glad he decided to take me on. The guy is an absolute legend. If anyone’s cutting into me, I want it to be him, and nobody else.
    If it wasn’t 3AM, and I wasn’t tired and half fucking crippled right now, I’d do some singing and dancing about it.

  12. CJ,
    The grounding, earthy quallity of your writing is beautiful. Grandmother twith those big legs, the rod and line…I can see it perfectly.

    I see through things today, like looking through my own reflection out a train window. I look but am lost in the editing last night, cutting off massive sections, rewriting a history that I only partially created, killing darlings and hoping that I am excising the right ones.

    • So perfect that we have the photo of your seat on the train. I can see you there now, lost in thought, wearing your fuzzy gloves, staring through yourself at the scenery gliding by.

    • Thank you Lyra. Here’s to cutting where needed and seeing through to the important. Look forward to reading what you discover there one day.


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