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Write on Wednesdays: Sunshine in a cup...

Write On Wednesdays


Write On Wednesdays Exercise 19 - Sunshine in a cup. Write the words of Emily Dickinson: "Bring me sunshine in a cup" at the top of your page. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Write the first words that come into your head after the prompt. Don't take you pen off the page (or fingers off the keyboard). Stop only when the buzzer rings! Do this exercise over and over if you wish. Write beyond 5 minutes if you like, you can link it up as an extra post.

Fair warning, I'm not in a good place today as I watch my husband being eaten away from the inside by repeated failed attempts to gain employment and a licence. Who is a man in our society who isn't able to get a drivers licence or a job? I see him trying so hard to gain ground and slipping back time and time again despite doing everything in his power to change his circumstances. I've always been a person who believed in the big picture. I've always believed every life event has meaning and ultimately helps us prosper in the long term. Recently my faith has been tested to the very brink of its limits and now I don't know what to believe. Maybe this is it. Surviving and nothing more...

All the same, I would really appreciate some critical commentary on the writing itself. Any suggestions for modifying some of the cliches I've used would be great because I just couldn't think of a more concise way to summon up these images...

Bring Me Sunshine in a Cup

The sun is shining brilliantly in a clear blue sky outside my window. On days like this I'm usually singing my way through the day. I usually feel light and airy and as if I can do anything I set my mind to.

Today the sun and blue sky and the estimated high of twenty-eight degrees Celsius do not have the power to transport me to the place where life is sunshine in a cup. In fact, today I feel as if I've been sold a lie. I feel like tracking down the snake oil salesman who promised me a life of ease so long as I had a life of Faith and holding his head down in the cup until the last pockets of air escape from his lungs, leaving tiny bubbles of life popping on the surface of the sunshine...

Faith is the honey in the cup of sunshine. It is sweet and liquid and golden and it has the power to warm a person down to their toenails.

Lost faith is the charred coals in a fire that has be extinguished by the cold splash of reality at the end of a night of roasting marshmallows and counting stars. Now I'm left with mosquito bites and fear of the dark that envelopes my damp and musty life tent. No cup of sunshine can exist where lost faith lies cold and wet in the shadows of unrealised daydreams.

Comments

House of Prowse said…
I liked it - yes can see how you would feel like that with all that is happening. Hope things get better for you both.

Just a spell mistake towards the end "beEN extinguished".

Love the paragraph about bubbles of life..
Not sure about the mosquito part - maybe you could leave it out or use a different metaphor for pain?

Powerful piece.
Feisty Cat said…
Visiting from Wow. I liked it! Really liked it. And I know it came from such a deep, sad place. I didn't see a lot of cliches, but I'll bet you can spot them if you step back from it for a bit.

Loved this: I feel like tracking down the snake oil salesman who promised me a life of ease so long as I had a life of Faith and holding his head down in the cup until the last pockets of air escape from his lungs, leaving tiny bubbles of life popping on the surface of the sunshine...

--Feisty Cat
Sarah Mac said…
There may be cliches hidden in your words Sif but your own words are so beautiful even thought they come from such an unhappy place right now.

If adversity shows us our strenghts then yours is surly in writing.
Melinda Chapman said…
Sif, I was so taken in by the emotional honesty of your piece, that I did not feel it was clichéd. Sometimes those extra sunny words contrast well with disillusionment.

I enjoyed 'I feel like tracking down the snake oil salesman who promised me a life of ease so long as I had a life of Faith and holding his head down in the cup until the last pockets of air escape from his lungs,..' Maybe you could explore variations for the remainder of this metaphor, but only because it's a very powerful moment in the piece where we are sucked right in, and you might find other imagery to nail the gravity of the ending. Or what you already have might be perfect - I just mean it's a good spot to explore.

Also, I like the mosquito reference. For me it summed up the all-consuming agitation of this state. There's pain, but there's also a sense of urgency and inescapable irritation.
Well done, and hope you're having better days soon... :)
Rhianna said…
I don't think you would want a more concise way to create these images. All the words are need. Beautifully written Sif, for me the best line is the last one.
Stephanie said…
I think your words flow beautifully throughout this piece. I can feel the hurt, the sadness in your writing. You did a great job explaining that life isn't always sunny.
I hope things get better for you. :)
Adam said…
:hug:
Really well written Sif. I'm in your place when I read it. Especially like the reference to the dark side of camping. I hate musty tents and mosquitos, and the cold of the ashes after the warm glow of fire and friends.
claire said…
I thought that this piece was very emotional, and the cliches didn't spoil a thing. When your writing is true, and it really comes from the place you are in, then it feels very sincere to the reader too. I loved the last paragraph, and the way you ended, but I have one nitpick comment. I think that the second sentence (On days like this I'm usually singing my way through the day) could be written better. I get what you are trying to say, and I love the feel, but I don't really like the two days in one sentence. It sounds a little awkward.

Well, that's all, and I hope you feel better. Never give up!
Sif said…
Thank you everyone for you comments! I'm glad the cliches aren't too distracting. I think I'll look at it again next week with fresh eyes and see what comes to me.

Mosquitos, yes pain and irritation or frustration! I'll revisit that as well.

Clair, well spotted - two days in the one sentence definitely needs some work! Thank you!
Jaimee Hunter said…
You write with such beautiful imagery.
Won't repeat the sentiments above, but agree with them. You've eloquently expressed the disappointment and frustration that comes with lost (mislaid?) faith. I hope that writing helps you find some hope again.
Kate
Hope that sunny cup finds you soon, damp and musty tents are no fun. Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog :)Filled my cup this morning.
Stella Orbit said…
Black, but good. From a dark week you have managed to find something good. Hope you work on this more. I especially like the loss of faith - thought that line really stood out.
Lene said…
So sad Sif and so beautifully written. I can really feel your pain. Hope you find some sunshine soon.
InkPaperPen said…
The only suggestion I had has already been pointed out by Claire - the repetition of day.

And I didn't notice the cliches either, even though I was looking for them. This next comment is just nitpicking but I would say that I don't think you need this line "I usually feel light and airy and as if I can do anything I set my mind to." The idea of you usually singing though the day says it all, for me. There were so many lines I loved in this piece but my favorite was this:

"Faith is the honey in the cup of sunshine. It is sweet and liquid and golden and it has the power to warm a person down to their toenails."

Really powerful piece, Sif and I hope things look up for you soon. As Sarah said, at the very least it has produced a powerful writing piece

Gill x
Sif said…
Thank you everyone. Gill, that's a good point about the singing being all that is needed there.

Funny, after Claire pointed out the doubling up on the use of 'day', I wrote the five sentence friday post for Lillie's blog and realised I'd doubled up on 'through' in one sentence there. So, now Claire has me checking all my writing for that kind of thing, haha!

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