Abstractions in December: your prompts and your links
When I call something concrete, I’m calling it something tangible, something that catches light, with texture, temperature, weight. A small, lovely group of writers has been joining me in using the concrete to speak of the abstract. How else can we show you the invisible things?
As I consider a writer’s voice, I wonder how it is for you. If we all have one, I wonder about other things, other things that most of us have – like the ornament on your tree, for example. If voice is cadence and music and space, how you write out the matter in your life and the meaning it gives, then tell me about the ornament. It’s certainly different than mine. So how is it for you?
It began with the ornament, our first Christmas together in the little house. Grandma and Grandpa lived in the Rock House in front of us, and they let us walk out on the property to cut a tree. Seth wore a beanie and an old coat we’d found in the attic. He brought it up on his back, and we shoved the bald spots into the corner.
Like a proud new owner of my own space, I had set out every trinket I’d ever been given – snow men from the dollar store and a needlepoint that said, “Christmas is Love.” We only had a few ornaments, and they lined the front side of that little pine. In the year 2000, we had survived Y2K and leadership in youth ministry, and there we were finally grown-ups with wine and our own tree in our own living room. When I unwrapped it, I held it in both hands, big, rosy, glass santa head. I redistributed the ornaments and let him reflect christmas lights front and center.
Almost twelve years later on a Sunday afternoon, our living room will have moved to that rock house where Grandma and Grandpa used to watch Wheel of Fortune. I will put my tree where their fancy table used to be, and I’ll stick Santa’s shiny face right back where it belongs. I’ll see him from the corner of my eye, remember year 2000. Another baby will run around in a diaper and stop to rub the crushed silver velvet of the tree skirt and let his eyes roll back. Seth will make a play list of Christmas songs, and I’ll know he stifles tears of happiness – pure gladness in the season.
How much light has reflected there in the twinkle of those blue eyes? The kisses on the couch, then a new stocking added every other year. Oh the stories and cookies and drinks with best friends. Every year is wrapped in a page written outside of time. While we put up the trees and legs grow dangly and faces full, while they learn the world and change and God in it, I’ll carry only a few tangible things with me, and this ornament from Seth is one.
This month, we would love for you to join us. Follow the weekly prompts or pursue concrete ways to express your own themes. Then link your words here on this page any time and as many times during the month of December. Just make sure to send your readers here to the other links. Let’s encourage one another. Give me something in your story I can hold. Help me walk around with it, reaching for it even weeks from now.
I’ll keep a big button in my sidebar like a link list, and I would love for you to be on it with a few other generous writers. Make sure to use #concretewords on twitter. Thank you always for coming here and walking with me.
Upcoming Prompts are The Cinnamon (December 10), The Gold (December 17), and The Gift (December 24).
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There’s a freedom I hear about that I just don’t always recognize in my life. I long to be free so much that maybe I’ve built a habit of feigning it. Would you like to join me in exploring this path to true freedom? Follow along on Facebook or subscribe to these posts by email or in a reader. Are you ready to shirk your chains?