Sunday, April 24, 2011

R is for River

Happy Easter, everyone!

I know I am a few days behind (three, I believe) in the A to Z Blogging Challenge but I promise to play "catch-up" soon and finish my Z post before the month ends. In the meantime, today's letter is R which is for river.

In January I took part in the River of Stones challenge organized by Fiona Robyn. The task was to engage with the world through writing a small stone every day during the month. “A small stone?” you might ask. “What is that?”

A small stone is an observation or "a polished moment of proper paying attention." It might be a few words, a sentence, a haiku or tank. The form doesn't matter. What matters is the observation one makes. The practice of writing it down just serves as reinforcement. The point is that by being fully in the moment and acknowledging just one person, place, thing, feeling, or experience each day you will have a greater appreciation for the world around you.

Most of the members of my writing group took part. Some of us even combined our stones with photos. Here is one of the stones I wrote and combined with a photograph I took from our plot of land nearby. 


                                                                   From
                                                                         this perspective
                                                                the tree branches
                                                                       reach down,
                                                                           gnarly wood lightning
                                                               hitting the town.


The River of Stones turned out to be a wonderful experience for all who took part. Not only did we pay closer attention to the world around us, but we made some new friends in the process. Fiona even used one of my stones in Pay Attention: A River of Stones, a book which highlights work from many of the participants.

For those of you who are saying, “Darn...I missed it!”, there is no need to feel left out. You have the chance to participate, because Fiona is holding the challenge again in July. If you'd like to take part, you can find further information here. It's simple.

Fiona is also a published author who has written the books A Year of Questions: how to slow down and fall in love with life, Living Things, The LettersThe Blue Handbag, and small stones: a year of moments. In addition to that, she is a super nice person. To find out how why she began writing stones and how she started the river, watch this video.


So now I am posting a challenge. I challenge all my A to Z Blogger friends to take part. Go ahead...do it! It will be fun to connect again in July.


5 comments:

Josh Hoyt said...

That is wonderful. I love the picture and the words that followed it. It is so important to stop, breath, and pay attention :)

Linda H. said...

Thanks, Josh. That photo is the view of our village.

Any interest in taking part in July? If you can do a blog post each day for April, then you can surely write a small stone each day in July. Right? :-)

Rachel Hoyt said...

I loved your poem! I'm not sure I'm up for another month of daily required posting this year though... NaPoWriMo is wearing me out. :)

Linda H. said...

But that's the glory of it, Rachel. You don't need to poem a poem or take tons of time finding creative words. The example above was one I actually played with a bit before posting, but others were very simple. For instance, today there is a slight breeze and I am in the garden now. A stone for today might be, "I sit still while the breeze carries the scent of lilacs to me." That's all. Just observe the world around you and jot it down.

Only a few days until NaPoWriMo is over. I take part in the April challenge at Poetic Asides but have stopped in NaPoWriMo a few days. It is a challenge, isn't it? Good practice but lots of work. Next month we can relax a bit.

Fiona Robyn said...

Thank you Linda. Yes, couldn't have said it better myself - not yet another commitment, but an opportunity to pause every day and notice something properly. It doesn't even really matter if you write it down or not! Thank you for helping us spread the word, Linda, and glad you'll be joining us. All welcome!