First Friday Freewrite #62: “Going without…”

Welcome to the First Friday Freewrite! 

If you’re a newcomer, here’s the deal: I’m a writer, and I’ve found that I desperately need accountability.  Regular writing exercises help me keep my writing fresh, keep me honest and – most importantly – keep my pen moving.  Join me, and post your response to this month’s writing prompt in the comments.  It’ll be fun!  See below for details…

Here’s how it works: I post a “JUMP LINE,” a short phrase that will serve as a writingFriday-Freewrite-Image prompt, each first Friday of the month.

YOU put pen to paper and write. (I’ll do it, too, of course.)  Don’t think.  Don’t cross out.  (That is wise advice borrowed from Natalie Goldberg in Wild Mind.)  Just start with the prompt and see where it takes you.

Then POST YOUR RESPONSE as a comment.  (Just click the comment bubble  to the right of the Friday Freewrite post title above to leave a reply.)

Today’s jump line:  “Going without…”

Happy Writing!


5 thoughts on “First Friday Freewrite #62: “Going without…”

  1. “Going without” covers a wide range of possibilities. Some are negative; poor or disadvantaged people, for example, often go without essentials for health and well being and resent being denied what many of us take for granted. But “going without” can be a positive, too, and it brings to mind camping and the essence of simplicity.
    Camping at its best, for me, means being in a beautiful place with a minimal amount of the trappings of civilized life. Camp meals can be delightfully simple, and campground chores are reminders of the importance of taking care of ourselves and cleaning up our messes. Setting up a camp, pitching tents, gathering firewood, preparing meals, tending to personal needs – these all require our attention and help focus us on the reality of being in the outdoors.
    Sitting around the campsite, people can read, write, play games, or simply talk to each other. You can gather and sharpen twigs for roasting marshmallows, or you can whittle a little creature from a chunk of found wood. It’s a great time to really get to know your Swiss Army knife. You can learn a whole lot about navigation and your environs with a topo map and compass.
    If you get restless, you can get up out of that camp chair and explore. Follow a trail. Find a creek and see what lives there. An osprey fishing at a pond? An old rusty tractor consumed by forest vines? An interesting nest high up in a gently swaying tree? You just don’t know what waits around the next bend or over the next rise.
    As night falls, bats come out. Owls hoot. Stars cover the black canvas of the sky. Campfire flames dance and crackle as the fire warms your face and sets your mind adrift.
    All these rich experiences are possible because of all the stuff you didn’t bring: phones, iPods, CD and DVD players, and anything else with a battery except a flashlight.
    The more stuff you go without, the more likely you are to discover exciting, memorable things in the world around you, and maybe even find hidden resources within yourself. Go simply, go quietly, and the next bend, the next rise, even the next step might just take your somewhere magnificent.

  2. I cheated on this one….I let this prompt linger in my mind for awhile. I wanted to look for something pure within myself and designate what I found as something that I couldn’t go without. Well, at least the writing will be somewhat spontaneous.
    Going without….desire tempts me to the roots of my existence. Going WITH desire promises adventure, challenges, courage, determination, possible loneliness, a chance of loss, disappointment and discouragement to overcome and all the other beautiful things that make a life worth living.
    Going WITHOUT desire is not going at all. Without desire I stand still and my identity falls into the hands of another. Without desire my dreams are handed to me in a purposeless countdown to death. Without desire I rot.
    Everyday an enemy voice in my head tempts me to lay down my desires with a self-justified chant of “It’s not worth it.” Most days I don’t listen. But somedays I do.

  3. Going without as a kid wasn’t the same as going without as an adult. As a kid, when we were homeless and four of us kids were living in the back seat of a car in an era when homeless wasn’t chic, going without meant eating out of hubcaps, sleeping with elbows, knees, and feet in your face, ribs, and back, crammed in the back seat of a cramped car. It meant playing along the Verde River without a care, except for the rumble in the stomach from nothing to eat unless we managed to catch a fish on a safety pin attached to a piece of fishing line found in a tree, cast into the water with a writing worm we’d dug up from the mud on shore. Going without meant fighting for the end of the blanket, and the last heel of bread spread with mayonnaise because that was all there was to eat. Going without meant keeping milk for the baby in the cold, crystal clear water of the Oak Creek in order to keep it cold, and licking the Karo syrup off your fingers after you’d made his bottle. Going without meant putting cardboard in the holes in the soles of your over sized worn out shoes and being grateful it hadn’t rained or snowed last night. Going without . . . what a concept.

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