Writing to explore the Self – The Flood

This week, you’re invited to write piece of prose or poetry on the subject of ‘The Flood’.

Floods have been a common theme through time, and are, of course, still potent in our own times. In ‘Flood’ Miyazawa Kenji (translated by Hiroaki Sato) describes its coming. It is ‘gleaming like a snail's trail…under the malicious glints of the clouds…on the warm frightening beach several dark figures stand, afloat’.

In her beautiful poem of the same title, Eliza Griswold also describes the rising waters. ‘To the east, the flood has begun. Men call to each other on the water for the comfort of voices.’ She then parallels it with an inner flood- that is grief.

To the east, the flood has begun. Men call to each other on the water for the comfort of voices.
— Eliza Griswold

You can, of course, interpret this week’s theme in any way that you wish. You can write from your own experience, or instead, wholly invent a world. But, if possible, go and find an expanse of moving water, and observe its rhythms, as a starting point for this exercise.

A note of warning: This is a subject that may need careful handling.  You might want to let the words rise up through your body and pour out on to the page with the force of flooding waters. Or, you might feel that that approach would drown you. In the latter case I suggest the following:  put a metaphorical dam in place and open the floodgates, as appropriate, to manage the flow of emotionally charged words. You’re in charge of the process. Notice when you need more flow, and when you need less. A measured channelling will harness the force of the words, and create the best results on the page.

Perhaps this process itself will become part of your written piece?