Potomac River

Just sit in front of the screen for twenty minutes.  You don’t have to write.  You don’t have to publish it if you do write.  But here’s the catch–there’s always a catch:  You’re not allowed to do anything else while you sit there.  It’s write or do nothing.

Look out the window if you want.  Look at the tent near the road, the morning light spilling itself through the clouds, the thick green grass, creating shadows of trees.  Listen to the sound of Ella chewing on her rawhide down there on the dog bed at your feet.  You don’t have to write, but if you don’t all you can do is sit here with your hands in you lap, like in meditation.

Except that when you meditate, you’re lying down.  Maybe most people sit on a mat or a cushion, the Zen way, but you never do.  When you meditate, you lie still, let your limbs go limp, feel the softness of flesh and bone.

You don’t have to write.  Really, you don’t.  You can think about how wonderful it was to sit in the river the last few days, looking downstream, watching the play of light on the water and the trees, listening to the sounds of children laughing, smiling with your friend.  Think about the rocks, the mussels, the shards of glass worn smooth by the water.  How long does it take for a shallow river to turn glass into something that can no longer cut?

You joked about buying some suture in case you happen to find a fresher piece of glass the hard way and the water suddenly looks red around you.  But there wasn’t any real fear.

No, you really don’t have to write.  You can just sit here, still and silent.

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