|General Script posted November 19, 2023|
A conversation between father and son.
Recently I was riding my bicycle and came across a ‘nerf’ rocket lying in the gutter of the street. A ‘nerf’ rocket is one of those foam shaped objects shot out of a plastic toy gun. I didn’t stop to pick it up, I just continued my way. However, seeing the object made me think of the 4th of July and all the fireworks associated with the holiday. It then had me thinking of the number of Holidays I still had in me before I meet my maker. Then I wandered off in thought and realized I was thinking of a recent post I had made and the comments I had received back from my son. The post was a very specific writing prompt requesting a Nanni Poem (4-line, no rhyme) dealing with Human Suffering.
Ravaged by blindness,
Engulfed by the horrors of humanity,
Straining to hold on,
Living in darkness.
The poem was illustrated with a dark, hooded figure that would have reminded you of the ‘Grim Reaper’ had there been a ‘scythe’ pictured. I had sent the poem to my son for his reaction as he tends to give careful thought to most any subject and is a fine writer himself. What I didn’t tell him at the time, was the required structure of the writing prompt. Here is the following exchange that took place on WhatsApp between father and son 8,000 miles apart and multiple time zones:
Interesting. Tell me, who is the ravaged? What is the blindness? What are the horrors of humanity? Holding on to what? And are the ravaged ones now in the darkness?
I leave it to the reader to make those decisions. Everyone has their own skeletons in the closet, so to speak. It’s open for interpretation i.e.:
The blindness of power, politics and money.
War is the horror of humanity.
Life is being held onto a thread by many.
Lack of transparency, honesty, love etc. is the darkness.
Kind of my interpretation.
I see. Yeah, definitely interpretable. But I think you could dig deeper into the allegory. Leaving too much for the reader can just murky the message and make it too abstract.
Trying too much to be profound can just end up being a bit banal.
That’s the idea. I am setting no boundaries. If I do that then I may limit the breadth of thought. Just me thinking out loud. Appreciate your comments.
But if you take some of the meaning, and ground it, then it can grow.
Ground it in actual experience, then that’s something.
This comes from actual experience. But that is another very private matter that I keep within.
Then why write in the first place?
Part of my healing. Anyway, I again appreciate your thoughts. Enjoy your time with Luna.
Like I said, you can and should go deeper and try to reflect actual feelings tethered to an experience. Because writing catchy thematic words about 'darkness of humanity' is great to be aware and to work on, but you have skill and insights that can push the envelope further.
I should have mentioned that this was a writing prompt that was to be 4 lines and a maximum of 25 syllables. I was limited in scope based on the prompt.
It is called a Nanni Poem. No rhyme and it must deal with Human Suffering. And be between 20-25 syllables.
Oh, very cool. Be curious to what you’d write without those parameters.
Well, based on your suggestions, I am thinking of creating a story around those 4 lines.
Hm yeah, but like I said, I think you can go deeper than what those four lines offer. The ‘darkness of humanity ravages blindly’ is an underhand toss of a prompt. But if you peeled it back and added some more specific actions of humanity that you genuinely feel, then there could be something like,
‘Humanity has separated itself from nature, blindly devouring its old mother, leaving her lands ravaged’.
‘The horror lies within the anthropocentric! That thinks itself infinite, when in truth we are all finite’.
‘Straining to hold on and, not fall into that dark belly, of our own consumption’.
Or, whatever, you know?
That’s the right idea.
(meme:image of person with arms and hands near head-'I don't know')
But I mean, I’m still being quite trite here. I wrote this 5 min in bed cause the ‘humanity = bad’ is a well-used prompt, and picking themes to support this are low hanging fruit as I just did.
You’re challenging the words which is great. It is what I try to accomplish in much of my writing. I want the reader to create their own journey. I just offer a possible path.
Yeah, but I think you have the tact to tell a journey, to describe the path and how much dust your feet have kicked up, or scratches and scars on your shin that you got from falling off the trail, and theeeen the reader can take a story from that.
Very true. I have written quite a few of these stories. Mostly reside on my computer. Time for bed. Great exchange. Thanks.
Yes, yes, sounds good. Time for coffee for me. Have a good rest.
Love you son.
Love you too.
Nonfiction Writing Contest contest entry
I was thrilled at this exchange as it offered me another glimpse into the child of mine who has grown into a broad thinking man. Couldn't be more proud.Pays one point and 2 member cents.
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