Earlier this afternoon as I began to nod off with a book in my lap, my thoughts drifted to a friend and how sad she had sounded when she spoke of some problems involving her daughter. Suddenly, out of the blue, these words came to mind: "Telling a friend of our sadness is like putting a frame around it."
How true! I thought. That's just what friends do. By listening to our concerns, they allow us to draw boundaries around the problem. Their responses set off certain elements in our thinking and create a frame of reference.
As profound as that thought may be, it isn't worth writing a lifestory about. I mention it here because it is worth keeping, if not in a story. I have a file where I keep idea scraps like this. Sometime when I'm writing a story about something sad or angry, this analogy will be just the right way of putting things, so I'm stashing it in that file. If I never use it again, at least I won't forget it. I read through this file every now and then, and it's almost like reading haikus. Each thought is a little gem, filled with personal meaning.
If you haven't started such a file, I strongly encourage you to do so now. I keep mine on my computer, but a card file would also work well, or a list in a journal.
May your list grow long and deep, and may it bring you a thousand pleasures as you read over it in years to come.
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal