Saturday, April 1, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Prompt #1 - The Moment of Connection

Peak cherry blossoms flowering in Washington, D.C.
Our first prompt for NaPoWriMo 2017 is fashioned around the concept of mono no aware.  I spent quite some time looking for one good site to point to about that concept, but it takes reading about ten sites before one becomes aware (see what I did there?) of the many possibilities behind this phrase.  So let us define what we mean for our purposes, briefly, right here.

Using the classic cherry blossoms as the example - there is a moment, upon looking at them, that one is struck with their fleeting, poignant grace.  It is a moment of both beauty and pain.  It is a moment out of the self, when we connect with all things.  It only lasts until we perceive or scrutinize it, and then it is gone.

So Prompt #1 is this:  Write a poem that reflects a moment from your life in which you encountered mono no aware.  You can consider why it is painful, what makes it fleeting, how it brings you out of yourself into the larger universe, or any other aspects of the phrase with which you are familiar.

If you want something more specific, try writing this moment in the classic form of a haiku.

Of course you can also try what I'm doing, and that is to express this moment through a speculative theme like science fiction, fantasy, or horror.

Happy Writing!

Prompts crafted by:
J.A. Grier, Senior Scientist and Education Specialist, Planetary Science Institute and
Amy Grier, Managing Editor, Solstice Literary Magazine
Image Credit:  My pic of peak blossoms from around the lake in Washington, D.C.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mono no aware (poem written in response to Prompt #1-The Moment of Connection)

Trailing through the shopping center in
The middle of a busy look
Up and the poetry of the clouds draws
Your journeying soul and thoughts higher (try to) travel with the snow-
White birds flitting and winging through
The vast, and infinite space...

But suddenly the disruptive clanking and
The clamor of the cars and the crowded
Pavements and the noise and all the
Shouting and the honking of the traffic
And all the carrying-on of all the crazy
Day of all the shoppers and the workers
Traveling all busy and kicking up a
(Verbal) tramping storm across the ground
Below (and you down in the middle of it
All) blasts your previous focus on the
Birds and the clouds in the sky above,
Drawing (dragging) your thoughts once
Soaring from afar...down onto the bitter
Ground below...trapped (caught) by all
The blind machinery and the rattling hum
Of the whole, human, man-made business scurrying rats across a
Loaded dinner table...searching for the
Latest crumbs...


(Later: at 3:00 in the morning: same place...different time of day..):

You sit on the bench, quiet as a mouse
Peeking out from a hole in the outer wall
Of the side of a house.

The (commercial) storm of earlier today
Has passed...the streets and the parking
Lot have all cleared out...hardly any cars resting (however) silently out among
The distant, darkened depth of the formerly rolling parking lot.

Things have quieted down.

In the distance...a truck rolls along the
Interstate...its softened tires dampened
Over that far and wandering pavement by
The lonely earshot-distance from there to here.

Meanwhile...back here...the neon lights of the fast-food joints out beyond this
Bench sit silently dreaming amid the
Darkened night.

Your thoughts turn peacefully, then (rising gently...flowing, with the lifting breeze) up to the broad, blanketing, quietly endless swath of far and distant sky:

A brown and grayish bubble, surrounding the tub of the world below like an enveloping bowl...warm hands wrapped gently around the far, and solid, earth
...protecting us, its denizens, from the
Bright and wicked days.

As a lone, high-flung bird soars magnificently across the deepened night...

A solitary driver working down here below begins quietly buffing the emptied-out parking lot...crawling alone at an earthy, snail's pace...moving slowly out
Among this store's scattered, sparse collection of abandoned shopping carts.