In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burning Down the House.”
This Blogging 101 assignment doesn’t particularly appeal to me. I write because I feel compelled to write honestly about things that matter to me. I take my prompts from life, from society, from injustice from things that move me, from things that matter to me. I write because it is a way to get the thoughts about these things out of my head and into a space were they might have some chance of making a difference.
If there are no words going round in my head then I really quite welcome the headspace. I am not really inclined to seek out a writing prompt to set my talking head off again. Instead I use the quiet time to get on with things that get neglected while I am utterly wrapped up in my thoughts or writing about my thoughts or acting on my thoughts.
Nonetheless, I like a challenge and I understand the point of the assignment so I decided to play blogging ball. I had already invested several hours blogging about brain health today so I have come to this assignment with very little fuel in my engine.
I promised myself that I would stop at the first prompt that even remotely resonated with me but even at that I must have had to go through at least twenty before I finally arrived at one that sparked (excuse the pun) anything in me.
“Burning down the house”
Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?
But here’s the thing, maybe I am just very tired, maybe I am just all writer’ed out but given that in this ‘hypothetical’ all of my humans and all of my animals are safe I can’t think of one thing that I would run to save. I’ve been giving it some thought for some time now and I still can’t think of anything. I must be terribly tired but I genuinely can’t think of anything. But the prompt has set of a soundtrack in my head of the 1983 Talking Heads song ‘Burning down the house’.
If I could, I would save the house itself, I mean the whole house though. Does that count as a thing? I mean you can’t ‘grab’ a house – but I love my house. Its my forever home, I down-sized from a 4 bed roomed to a 2 bed roomed just to get back to my childhood neighbourhood. I fell in love with this house at first sight – the boys were toddlers at the time and I had to buy a garden shed to store their toys because there was no room in the house for them. Well actually that’s not technically true, there was room but it is an open plan house and I couldn’t cope with having toys ‘on view’ all the time. I hate clutter so for my sanity a garden shed where all the toys could be neatly boxed and tidied away everyday was a sensible option. Eventually when we could afford it we extended the house and I love that those children, now adults still love living here.
Other than the house itself I don’t really have any prized possessions. I guess some old photographs – but everyone would say that – and truth be told I have scanned copies of most of the special stored safely in the cloud. I guess I have never really been one for things – I’m too absent-minded to hang on to jewellery – I lost my wedding and engagement ring years ago, well actually I think one of the kids flushed them down the toilet.
So that’s it if I could save family, animals and claim the insurance so I that I could rebuild the house itself there isn’t anything I’d grab as I fled the flames.
When I started writing this assignment I asked myself why the hell I’d picked this if I can’t think of anything to save – but maybe that’s why I was drawn to it.
I’m glad I chose it – I’ve always said that ‘things’ don’t matter to me – but now that I write this assignment I can be sure that I’m not lying to myself because of course, honesty does matter to me.