Friday, August 17, 2012

Writing Group: Object with Emotional Weight

I've joined a local writing group. We typically have a writing exercise and I'll be sharing some of what I've written in the group. Here's last week's effort, where we were supposed to think of an item with emotional weight and describe both its physical appearance and the emotional importance.

One item we did not allow the movers to take from our old house to our new home is a map of England that we had put on a cork board. It has more history about it than it should, considering it is only nine months old.

We decided after we came to England to get ourselves a map of the country. We wanted somewhere to mark off all the different places that we have gone. Walking from shop to shop in town, examining various possibilities, the choice was hard. We eventually settled on a map we found online, hardly the most sentimental of places. Angie put it on her wish list and someone bought it for us. We also received assorted map pins to show all our travels.

We were excited to receive it. Our old kitchen cork board was still waiting to go up on the wall somewhere and the map was the perfect width, though a tad too tall. Folding back the top and the bottom edges made it fit just right. We mounted the map and then mounted the board in the family room.

Then we took out the pins and began searching for all the spots we had seen. We had a dense cluster in Yorkshire. Many spots further out had little clusters: the Oxford-Cheltenham area and the Mildenhall-Cambridge area were the most populous. Some dots were along Hadrian's Wall, a few beyond in Edinburgh and the Scottish coast.

The little pins don't look like pins to us though. They are more like web links that bring up other pictures and stories. Our pictures and stories. Happy memories of exploring and eating. The plain map is a gateway to the past.

It's also a springboard to the future, imagining where we will go next, what we will do. The empty spot of London. Ireland bereft of any pins at all. The south of Wales. The highlands of Scotland. The nearby French coast.

How could we let the movers take such precious memories, such bright futures? It will be the first thing we hang in the new house.

Here's the newly hung map!

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