“A small stone is a very short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment.” This is defined on the website www.writingourwayhome.ning.com which hosts a free mindful writing challenge called The River for the month of January.  The idea is for writers to live mindfully and note at least one moment a day.

One of my goals for this year is to write something every day, whether it’s a blog post, 2000 words on my novel, a character sketch, or even a “small stone.” I want to write something.  This challenge fits into that goal perfectly.  It also fits into an ongoing spiritual goal to live mindfully which is sometimes difficult in my busy, distraction filled world.

I’ve included my first “small stones” of the year that I’ve written so far.  I haven’t managed one everyday but I have managed to write something every day. The site has prompts to look at nature, people, etc.  They’re actually kind of fun to write.  Enjoy.

#1  A bed of coals, glowing, radiating, heating, engulfing, burning.

My cheeks heat as I watch the flames, red and hot, as if I said something perhaps I shouldn’t have, but not this evening.  This heat is delicious, warming all the way through, safe, no regretful words involved.

#2  My Mandala . . . placing pebbles winding, circular, encompassing the garden of my own creation, paper, flowers, glue, my soul, reaching outward to create, becoming . . . me.

#3  My old dog snores, adjusting his legs, sighing in his relaxed contentment.  The puppy shakes and wriggles before yawning, his jaw stretching wide, sounding like a baby pterodactyl, high pitched and squeaky.  My son, his voice recently deepened, laughs his new sounding laugh and carries the pup off to snuggle and bed.

#4  He approaches, chews on the smile that tries to spread across his face, looks at me then steals a glance at the young woman by my side before looking down again.  His hair, sweat soaked, sticks to his cheeks, his forehead.  He holds his hockey stick across his chest, his gear in a pack on his back, a young warrior.  “You played well,” she says, grinning.  He looks up, nods, the smile makes the briefest of appearances again before vanishing into . . . cool.

#5  The pen, scratchy on the page, my lower thumb aching with the exertion of actually writing, using a pen and paper.  The words, inscribed forever, no delete button here.

#6  A spider dangles, slowly lowering himself on a thread, swinging over my morning coffee, too close.  He pauses, unaware of our rescue, swaying in the air as I move my cup; his descent continues.

I haven’t yet written a small stone while I’m at work.  Perhaps it’s the environment of 29 teenagers in my classroom that prevents me from remembering to take note of a single moment, but it is a goal for the next week or so.

No Comments

  1. Shanee on January 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Lovely to read your small stones, Amy, I especially like 3 and 4! And I am so impressed you can write 2000 words in a day, especially in your busy life. You, your goals and practices are very inspiring.

  2. Debra Mae on January 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Beautifully written Amy. Every one of your small stones is a work of art.
    I especially love #2 as I can relate to the creating and unfolding of the Mandala.

    • Amy Isaman on January 23, 2012 at 3:33 am

      Thanks Debra Mae. I love the creating of the mandala. I think I want to try to quilt one, but we’ll see!

  3. Sharon Rosse on January 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Wonderful small stones, Amy. Entire scenes packed into a couple of sentences. I want more from numbers 3, 4, and 6. Thank you!

    • Amy Isaman on January 23, 2012 at 3:36 am

      #3 was just the dogs sleeping and getting ready for bed. #4 was after Garet’s hockey games two weeks ago. A girl he likes came and watched him play and then they went out to lunch. He was happy but trying to be cool about it. #6 was literally a spider almost landed in my coffee cup the other morning. I noticed something out of the corner of my eye, and it was sliding down a piece of silk right over my cup. Rather than freak out, I just tried to watch it.

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