Concrete: An Abstraction on the Cup


I don’t know how to explain my own writing voice. It’s not a thing I can measure. I don’t know how to say, “here it is right here; I found it!” I really only know when I deviate from it or start to not recognize myself. Voice is like a shift of air, how ghosts feel, or the sound of overtones over a choir, the note that is there that no one is singing.  Voice is how the verbs express nonverbals, move us from room to room, from past into future. Movement in words acknowledges the couch and the space in between there and the coffee pot, by where the cup sits.

There’s a woman standing on her morning-tender feet on the hardwood floor, and in both hands she holds the cup, jolt hot, and she drinks it burning fast awake slow-poking her to the living room. A day ago she stood on a beach and even there she missed the creak in the floor and the low air conditioner hush of morning before the boys wake up. This is holy time, the gray of morning before the chaos of cereal bowls.

Now is just this cup and “where do these desires come from? Am I hearing from God?” Turn it upside down, rushing cold cup the dregs, “Am I poured out in my writing, this vessel metaphor?” Before she sits down even, she needs to refill, needs to hear it in her bones, “WRITE,” and she walks heavy-footed straight to the pot, pours that cup full up to the brim.

ON MONDAYS I’M GOING TO WRITE ON WRITING, WHICH MEANS THAT MOSTLY I’LL WRITE OUT SPIRIT BY PRACTICING A LITTLE WITH THE CONCRETE THINGS IN MY LIFE AND MAYBE IN A FICTIONAL LIFE. WE’LL SEE. IF YOU WANT TO MESS AROUND WITH THESE LITTLE PROMPTS, I’M ALWAYS HAPPY FOR YOU TO PUT YOUR LINK IN MY COMMENTS. WRITE ON WRITING; PRACTICE WRITING; SHARE IT WITH US. LAST WEEK WE WROTE ABOUT THE BED. NEXT WEEK IS ON THE NECKLACE. THANK YOU ALWAYS FOR SPENDING TIME WITH ME.

Also, I’m not so hot on putting a Bible verse on my stuff, but I do love my coffee mugs from DaySpring. I use them on the daily.

 

amberhaines
About me

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15 Comments

Melissa
Reply September 10, 2012

Fun prompt...I followed along...rapidly...one foot out the door on the way to work... http://melissafeddersen.com/2012/09/10/prompt-the-cup/

Kelly Sauer
Reply September 10, 2012

Ooooh. Next week. I have a necklace to write...

Amber, I love your words. I love these prompts - they are so... tangible. Thank you for sharing them with us, friend!

clbeyer
Reply September 10, 2012

Your words always make me feel alive, Amber.

It was a happy accident to discover I had already published a post today on writing, involving some imagery of the cup! Here it is:

http://clbeyer.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/pursuing-water/

Amanda
Reply September 10, 2012

Ooo, I want to join in. Not tonight. Tonight I am tired. But maybe next week or the next. I just like being here, is all. I like the ghost that is your voice.

Steph
Reply September 11, 2012

ooooh. i. like.
maybe i'll join in next week. not enough coffee to inspire this insomniac this morning.
love to you and yours :-)
steph

Caroline Starr Rose
Reply September 11, 2012

I'd love to know what you're working on. You spent some time in a poetry MFA program, yes?I'm a verse novelist. Maybe I write poetry, maybe I write prose broken into funny little lines. Honestly, I don't care how it's defined anymore!

Looking forward to reading more...

Shelly Miller
Reply September 11, 2012

Love this, you make me think. I enjoyed some of the posts I read last week on the bed prompt. Maybe I will join in next week.

dearabbyleigh
Reply September 11, 2012

i haven't MADE myself write on something in a while, and it was hard. but i did it. cheers.

http://dearabbyleigh.com/a-marked-cup/

Barbara Isaac
Reply September 11, 2012

I fill it and empty it just the same. I let someone fill it and empty it just the same. It quenches me, or fills me with doubt, or joy, or purpose. It is good and it is bad. It is lovely and it is evil. One thing is for sure--it always bears some kind of fruit, my cup full of words.

Annie
Reply September 11, 2012

Amber, I'm loving your word weaving here. Reading this, alongside the posts others have written in response to the prompt, gives me hope - the way each voice stands so unique. I don't think I understand the first thing about voice - I've just kind of let the words pour out when I can't work things out in conversation or painting. But I sometimes wonder if my voice is just echoing back the beautiful voices I'm reading, and how to write in community while growing into my own words. I appreciate the space your cultivating here to think and grow.

Brandee Shafer
Reply September 12, 2012

Joining you. http://brandeeshafer.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-cup.html

John Ray
Reply September 14, 2012

Funny to think about cups. One of the little rituals I have as I travel is to find a mug among the various cast offs that end up in guest housing cabinets. I will choose and use the the same one each morning, even though the cabinet offers a wide variety from which to sip.

I didn't even know I did this until I read your post.

I wonder if my dog realizes she circles three times before she settles into a curl on the carpet?

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