I wasn't used to on-the-spot assignments outside of English exams. I attributed my anxiety to those past high-school experiences. Even in college, we got to know to some of the material ahead of any exam. My own writing for pleasure usually included things that inspired me rather than assigned to me. My most productive literary musings were produced during the dark hours of insomnia rather than Friday afternoon and an impending happy hour beer after a long week. I certainly wasn't used to writing under the gun of time. But I was excited about my first creative-writing workshop. Despite being exited, anxiety momentarily filled me with dread as a blank sheet of writing paper and a pen stared back at me. However, age, inspiration, imagination, life experience and a willingness to share my despair in the form of poetry and prose took over from the momentary despair. I surprisingly found that the task in hand was relatively easy...
The rambling of my 10-15 minute hand-written blurb that includes three of the four words assigned in the workshop started ended up with a sad appraisal of how I thought about the past twenty years of my life. One of the things I have learned from writing is that it can be a stark insight into an unknown world within us. It is one that only becomes visual when we apply the written word to our innermost thoughts.
My work began:
I woke up one early spring morning with an alarming thought. Had I really slept through the seasons of my life? This morning was the dawn of a new experience -- an experience I'd never felt before. Where was I? And why all of a sudden in a very familiar environment did I feel lost?
I got up and looked in the mirror, but the reflection glaring back at me wasn't me. Somehow, I got lost on the way. I had been in a deep sleep for twenty years. What had I been doing and missing? I had been missing me... Yes, me. Somewhere, a part of me died. Most importantly, where was I and where was I going? Then it dawned on me. The early spring morning of my life had arrived.
Time dangles like Damocles' Sword above our heads. My awakening on the early spring morning was to know never to get lost again and to keep the dangling sword of time in sight, overhead and ahead...