What Matters

Given that tens of thousands of residents of New York and New Jersey are still suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy* and that an incredibly important election is being held in a handful of hours, today my mind landed on a prompt I used a few weeks ago (in a workshop) that resulted in some very inspired writing. The prompt is a simple one (and yet another I’ve stolen from Pat Schneider’s excellent book Writing Alone and with Others). And it is this:

Write a piece of prose or poetry whose every line begins with the words, What matters …

And, perhaps as an added directive, while you’re writing, try to hold in mind one of two things: 1) your fellow citizens who’ve been displaced from their homes and/or are still without heat and electricity due to Hurricane Sandy, or 2) the differences you see between the two candidates who are vying for your vote in tomorrow’s presidential election.


*Here are a few things of interest I came across today for those wanting to help out in the New York/New Jersey area and/or inform themselves about the effects of the hurricane on the two states (in no particular order): this video about Rockaway Beach, this video showing parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn during the storm, this piece from The New York Times about the Rockaways, this link to ways to volunteer through the City of New York, and this link to ways to volunteer and donate through an organization called Occupy Sandy.