This post is approximately 450 words. Just a little something I wrote to see if I could capture my ideas.
In the city, there are lights to illuminate you
A thousand, a million
They cast you in their glows.
Others see you; you see yourself:
A combination of flaws and perfection,
Truths, and the lies that we tell ourselves,
That others interpret.
And while some lights go out, they are but few.
There are always more.
The darkness that falls upon you is scant,
If you are ever shadowed at all.
People never see themselves by the light of a single source.
And they never truly disappear;
Though perhaps they are never truly seen.—
In the country, where there are fewer lights
A handful, a dozen,
Few and far between.
Defined as much by the darkness between them,
As by their shine.
Each precious in its illumination,
Though less stark in contrast,
And we all are deemed the same
In the same light
A single one extinguished has a meaningful impact
In what people see; how people see you.
You might lose yourself in the night,
Or reveal only those parts of yourself you wish didn’t exist.
And yet, when there is naught but darkness around you
You can see the brighter universe.
Take comfort knowing that light can never be extinguished,
And you will never truly disappear into the black,
Though it remains a reminder
That there are never enough stars to conquer the night.
Closer still, the horizon glow:
A welcome promise of light still existing.
Few or many, free to embrace.
They will shine upon us,
And we will be grateful to be seen,
Even if we do not always accept what we show.
This sprang up from the simple idea of using lights as a metaphor for people. We often see ourselves differently because of others. We might be surrounded by people, yet alone. The loss of people in your life could be more impactful, depending on where you live.
As a person who’s lived in rural America and her suburbs, I’ve experienced many of the things described above. If I may be so bold, read the text again and see if you recognize similar events in your own life.
The purpose of this post is not about wowing you with artistic imagery or showing off my poetry skills, diminutive as they are. I’m sure similar things have been created before. It’s an example of what can be done in about thirty minutes (including some minor editing and re-organization). Thirty minutes to exercise your writing brain. We all have time for that.
PS: Click for more examples of writing exercises
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© Michael Wallevand, August 2019