What are these 15-minute unedited pieces all about?
Women’s Writing Group – January 7, 2011
At this meeting we were asked the following question, and told to write about anything that came to mind, in 15-minutes or less: Remember when Eight Crayons Were All the Colors You Needed?
The first thing I thought of when I thought of a box of crayons, was how uncomplicated things were when I was a child, and how complicated they are as an adult. I strive to live a simple life, but in this culture it’s difficult, even for me.
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I just wanted a simple, relaxing trip to the Grand Canyon, but first there was so much to do. There was mail to put on hold, things to pack, camping gear to repair, food to stock, oil changes for the vehicle, tire pressure to check, maps to study, cash to withdraw, and the list never seemed to end.
Finally, I was ready to go. I’d decided to take this trip because I was so in need of getting away from society, consumerism, and the daily rush and grind of every day life in the city. My body was craving silence, simplicity, open skies, nature.
I recalled those days of childhood, when everything was so simple. I found sheer delight in a box of crayons and a piece of scrap paper. A puddle would turn into an ocean when I put my paper boat on it, some logs in the woods would be my castle. I craved a joy that simple. Something that required no effort to make it enjoyable. I just wanted the joy to be there, with no planning.
The first part of the drive to the Grand Canyon was fraught with tension, interstates, signs, trucks whizzing by, signal here, switch lanes, shift gears. It all seemed like so much work, so complicated, too much for the mind to handle all at once. My brain screamed as another big rig whizzed by me, and buffeted my little jeep. It wasn’t until I turned off the interstate and started along the back roads of Utah that I began to relax. I had chosen an indirect route to the Grand Canyon, hoping that driving for a few days first would help me to unwind; prepare for the anticipated moment of sheer grandeur.
It was surprising what I found. My goal had been to reach one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but as I drove through the Utah back roads, and the red rock and desert unfolded around me, I found that my goal to reach the Grand Canyon faded. I had craved simplicity, I had craved joy in the moment, and as I relaxed into my travels, I found that each new road held its own form of joy. There was a new wonder around every bend, and I learned that I didn’t have to drive to a grand view to find beauty, and simplicity, for it was here, all around me. All I had to do was give it a chance to enter my soul, right here and now.
Roxy Whalley ~ January 7, 2011