Bridge Walk

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Walking – Writing Workshop

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August 22, 2015 I attended another Writing Workshop taught by Matt Love at the Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon.

This was my second time in the former car dealership showroom turned brewery conference room, sitting amongst some kegs of aging beer and learning more about writing.

From the various prompts, discussion, breaks to walk around Astoria and a strong beer – I ended up with this:

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Ranger Bombed

I usually walk with purpose (I have a dog) and out of necessity (my back chronically reminds me) – I do this daily.  Often I simply wish to walk for no reason, to range about.  Today my purpose was to unwind my mind and let my feet range.

When walking I typically try not to think – it is my escape.  I am however easily distracted by people (not today) and architecture (Astoria has plenty worthy of noticing).  While glancing at older buildings (more refreshened since my last visit) and ruins of pilings wobbling in the river, I noticed something new.  Colorful bits of random display, knitted patches of several different people’s artwork twisted, wrapped and tied around posts, benches and a gate.  Public displays of an orchestrated effort to grab attention and brighten the day for those who notice.

Today my mind was bombed by yarn.

Two or Three Times… Freedom

Years ago I drove by a little pond nestled between an outside bend of the Green River and a busy four-lane road.  This little pond surrounded by trees somehow maintains peacefulness despite having another two-lane road beside it cross the other and a small bridge over the river.  I drove on these roads to and from work two or three times a day for a few years.  Then my job changed and I only drove by two or three times per week, for a few more years.  I never stopped at this little pond with a totem pole, fishing docks for kids, couple of picnic tables, some benches and a gravel trail around it.

One day, driving by with a very young Sarrah she looked out the window at it (as I had more than two or three thousand times) and then at me, she began to get excited, we stopped.

Sarrah delighted in what I thought was harassing the ducks and geese that always seemed to be there, sending them swimming from one side to the other, two or three times each visit.  Perhaps she was simply intrigued by their freedom.

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Change of Flow

August 2012 I attended a writing workshop titled “Making a Personal Metaphor from the Natural World” by the writer Matt Love at the Alder Creek Farm Conservation Site in Manzanita, Oregon.

Another of Matt’s prompts that day – was to use different blue crayons and draw a body of water resembling self.

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My crude picture was a side view of a river meeting the ocean (I was thinking about the mouth of the Columbia River colliding with the Pacific Ocean between Washington and Oregon).

– Then name it

I came up with “Change of Flow”

– The next step was to write some thoughts about our sketch.

I wrote:

I am at a point in my life where, like the mouth of a river meeting the ocean, flow has changed.

No longer going in a predictable direction, now part of a more random, changing… Freedom.

The largely wilder side of uncertainty is both calming and stressful, at the same time.

This change of flow is unique in its position of looking into the future, while looking backward.

The gravitational nature of this place in uncontrolled.

– Next we were to go back and underline the top three words.

– Then write a sentence summarizing our thoughts.

“I am at a point in my life where, like the mouth of a river meeting the ocean… Flow has Changed”