I am on my way to the coast, but the ridgeline forced me North for a day. I spent a rainy night huddled, miserable, below dense pine trees, and now I welcome the early dawn as a chance to put the dreary evening behind me.
I climb the slope of a hill that, through the mist, promises that I might finally cross this line and continue East to the sea. A ship awaits, but not if I delay much longer.
I hear a stream when I reach the top. It turns to the North again, but that will lead me down the mountain, so I concede another detour.
The mist has released me, and from the slow of loose rocks before me, I can see I will descend into it again. The sun burns with a fury that promises a hot day, and I move forward, knowing I will be grateful for the fog after it has burned off. I move through it now. Birds of morning announce the day around me, and the stream sings along with them. I move slowly, trying not to add the disturbance of my footsteps to this holy calm.
Author’s Note: These snippets are unedited free-writing exercises that I use as a way to shift my brain into a creative state. I use Lynda Barry’s What It Is YouTube timed exercises (usually 9 minutes worth of writing) for these. They are handwritten in a composition notebook and then typed up here. As I transcribe them, I make minor grammar and spelling corrections, but the overall “clarity” (if you can call it that) of the exercise is left as-is.