Day Seven of Sara Crawford’s 30 Day Writing Challenge. Music is the theme of the day. Basically, you put your music playlist on random and listen (no writing yet) to the next song that plays. Once you’ve let it sink in, free write using the music as a base. The book lists a few questions to help you connect with the music and what you’re writing.
“What I’m asking you to do in this exercise is allow a piece of music to move you and inspire you.“
I’ve done this quite often. I actually have playlists to go along with the genre I’m writing. The play list for my own Bayou L’Abeille is an epic list of blues. Let’s hit random on my Slacker Radio station and see what happens….Nickel Creek – “Reasons Why” happened.
Day Eight is absent, but I’m bending the book to my blog, so we have to make a few compromises. Day Eight requests that you go see some art and a museum visit will have to fall on another day.
Day Nine wants you to connect with the outside world. There’s nothing more inspiring than getting outside, so I did just that. Actually, since I combined the two exercises, I listened to the chosen song and took some pictures of my outside inspiration. This is what happened.
Babies know when they come out unwanted. I did. I was born with a hole right inside my heart and spent too many years tryin’ to fill a space that didn’t want to be filled. I never knew a hole could feel so heavy. Daddy was already gone by then and Momma didn’t care enough to use her own healin’ touch. She shoved me off on Rayanne, who never wanted me anyhow.
We lived down a dirt road and out past a barn older than my Momma. She told me once that she kissed a boy in the hay field down the way. The boy smelled like fresh dirt and had a freckle by his left ear. She’d never a seen a wayward freckle like that, so she decided to kiss him. Her daddy saw them from the house and when they made it back he took a switch to the both of ’em. After that, she did her kissin’ in that old barn as God intended.
She didn’t tell me many stories, so I made up my mind to remember every word. Mama preferred her stories on the TV. She liked her special drinks and her nerve pills. I didn’t know what made Momma so unhappy. My sister was never home so it must’ve been me.
Rayanne never liked either of us, really. She had long, black hair like Momma did in her old pictures. I had blond hair. Rayanne would tease me and say that I couldn’t be her sister, that I must’a come from the dog next door. Momma told me that Rayanne found out she was havin’ a little sister and cried for a week.
“Fonda,” Momma laughed, “Rayanne would’ve traded you for some turnip greens if I’d ‘ve let ‘er.”
I always laughed when Momma laughed. It was the only thing we ever shared. Rayanne didn’t laugh with us. My big sister was in charge of makin’ sure I was fed and washed. If I didn’t do what she said fast enough, she got mad as a swatted bee and pushed me down. I remember the day she bleached her hair to look like Farrah Fawcett. Only her hair wasn’t like theirs, it was orange. I told her as much and she hit me with a briar switch. Momma never noticed. Once Rayanne was allowed to go off with boys, I didn’t see her much. Momma was sleepin’ all the time. I think I was 9 then. I don’t really know. I never thought to ask about my birth day.
When I was a few years older, I bled like a woman. Rayanne threw a lady pad at me as she walked out the door. Momma was asleep again. That’s when I started takin’ walks at night.
I’d walk out to that old barn at night and imagine my momma, young and pretty, kissin’ that freckled boy. I pretended to have my own boy, but all I really wanted was to have somebody close enough so’s I could feel something warm that I didn’t make myself. That’s how I met Harlan. His eyes were as green as a juniper tree.
We met every day for a month before I kissed him. He laid down on me for the next week or so, then never came back. I can’t say as I blame him much. It hurt when he laid down on me and I cried. It had to be my fault.
A month after that is when I felt the pain in my stomach and the blood ran down my legs. Momma was asleep again.
One day I came home after school and saw Momma’s pills spilt all over her night gown. I picked each one of ’em up while she slept and put the bottle away. I covered her with the afghan. She seemed still and cold.
I knew that Momma was dead. She had her reasons to go. She probably went to find that freckled boy who didn’t bleed down his legs. We hadn’t seen Rayanne for over a year. All she had was me and I reminded her too much of things she didn’t want. Sometimes a hole is too heavy.
Sometimes the loneliness wanders away with you.