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SIX WORD » LIFE

Describe it. Write a smell memory.

by lillybrook on February 25, 2013   |  FacebooktwitterTumblr


This is what I did with memoir students today; we talked about how we often start with the visual, but the visual is the easiest to write. Why put energy there by default when so much of what creates meaning does not come through the eyes? So, today, we wrote "smell":

"It’s an odd thing to say about a place that is so blue, but when I open the gleaming glass doors of the cabin, all I smell is dirt. The decorative rock around the house must hold it in somehow, or perhaps it is the rocks themselves slowly decaying into beach. I step into the yard, and the dark soil squishing beneath my toes is 20 year old truckloads of black dirt, fertilizer for lush grass, compost that has never quite mixed with the hard packed sand below that holds this hill in place. The smell of dirt intensifies the closer I get to the beach, sands swirling in the lake breeze, golden gray specks that close my eyes and tease my nose, and I’m not sure if the sneeze comes from the brightness of the sun or the dusty smell that hides in grainy sand."

I'd love to smell your places, too...

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