a note about the canal piece

‘Ever constant, always changing’ was the result of an assignment for my current writing class.

The assignment was deceptively simple, yet exceptionally challenging (at least for me)

Write a short (one-page) nature essay about some weather event that you have experienced or about some nature scene that you have observed. (I won’t mention that there was an option to write a haiku or to keep a week-long nature journal)

This was a particularly tough assignment for me for some reason.  I discovered a lot about myself and my ‘voice’.

I road and I ran and I took pictures along the way.  I took copious notes and jotted down my observations after each time.

I had no intention of keeping a nature journal, but in the end I think that’s what I did.

I struggled to make this piece ‘perfect and powerful’ to find all of the right and beautiful ways to bring words to life and paint a picture. I have at least 7 versions of it in various forms and states of completion.  At one point, I even traveled to a different state and place in my mind to try to bring life to my thoughts.

I thought I was getting close, and I shared that version with a dear friend.  The feedback was – it’s nice, well written, but it’s not you.  He was right.

His sage advice was to ‘just say it from your heart.’ and so I did.

In the end I don’t really know if I used a single metaphor or simile. And I don’t think it really matters.

What I learned is that when I ‘force it,’ I’m not happy with the outcome.  When I write ‘from the heart’ it works.

I somehow think this lesson applies to more than just writing.

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