This past week’s Documented Life Project challenge prompt was to make a wish list by drawing or using images from a magazine. This week really was a challenge for me since I was travelling and, therefore, had no free time and no selection of materials with me. It was also a challenge because I am not someone who maintains even a mental “bucket list”. I do have lots of hopes and aspirations and I certainly have things that I would like to do or achieve in my life but they have never organised themselves into any sort of list I can access at any given point from the dusty library shelves that are my memory. This is somewhat ironic since I am one of life’s list makers and I always have a good few lists, plus a spreadsheet, a notebook and a few To Do lists on the go. However, those are all concerned with immediate and pressing things. Wishes are pushed to the periphery, occasionally pinging to the forefront if the opportunity for fulfillment arises but otherwise just sitting dormant in the background.
All of this preamble is to explain that I had no idea how I was going to approach the Week 29 challenge. No idea at all. In a week that was very busy (lots of travel posts to come!) I had little time in which to ponder ways in which I could tackle it but then a memory bubbled to the surface. When I was teaching my students creative writing, a way to get the youngest ones (aged 11) to break free of concern about rhythm and rhyme when writing poetry was to get them to write a shape poem so that their focus was simply on choosing appropriate words and phrases to describe the form they had chosen. If that was my way of busting my students out of a rut, perhaps it could be my way of breaking out of a block.
Wishes make me think of stars. It’s a cliche but cliches are a useful shorthand and I needed shortcuts this week so stars it was. I drew stars on my page in pencil and then used a black gel pen to write about my wishes, just letting them flow around the shapes as they formed in my mind. No over-thinking. No labouring over choices. No prioritising or worrying about the merit of some wishes. If they entered my head at that precise moment in time then they were committed to ink. I found I had rather a large white area around the page as I had clustered all of my star shapes in the centre of the page so I thought of the old nursery rhyme ‘Star Light, Star Bright’ – familiar to many because of ‘Pinnochio’ – and scribbled that around the edge of the page to create a text border. I probably mangled the quotation since I didn’t take the time to check but the sentiment was clear.
So I accomplished the challenge withing the allotted time frame even if I was not very creative or artistic in doing so. Just in time for next week’s challenge.