One of my recent writing prompts, which I took from a chapter title in Twyla Tharp’s creativity book, was I walk into a white room. This freewrite cobbles together bits and pieces of dreams and things I’ve seen.


I walk into a white room. It’s huge, empty, but off on the opposite side there seems to be a window cut out of the wall. It’s a big window and the light that streams through it brightens the entire space. I walk toward it, thinking as I do that this room looks like the entry room of the afterlife in all the movies I’ve ever seen, or even like film depictions of Heaven itself. I can’t tell what the walls are made of, nor the floor, and I forget to look up at the ceiling. It doesn’t occur to me that I might be dead. I’m not thinking at all, actually. If I were, I might recognize that I’m dreaming.

I take the last few steps toward the window, and stop right at the wall. A breeze lifts my hair. I place my hands upon the thick cutout sill; the surface feels just exactly between smooth and rough, and it’s warm from the sun. I look out, then duck my head and lean out with the whole top half of my body. I see a vast, limitless blue sky, no clouds anywhere. Far below me is a settlement, an intricate patchwork of red roofs, golden walls, little scrubs of olive green trees. It looks like photos I’ve seen of Italy, Greece, or Turkey; I can’t tell from the architecture. From somewhere within the community, a man’s voice calls out. A meandering, wailing instrument joins him and their tunes rise up toward my ears. The sound is familiar and yet unknown, like a favorite song of childhood plucked into being by foreign instruments of a people halfway across the globe.

I want to ride that melody. I raise a foot and find the windowsill has lowered toward the floor. I step up with both feet, balance myself there on the ledge, and then leap out into the air. I hang there for a moment, suspended in the clear blue. Then I hear notes swirling toward me and I’m caught in the music, rising up, soaring over the rooftops and away to… I don’t know what.


2 responses to “Takeoff

  1. Cobbled together? It feels smooth and rich as chocolate, Lisa. I love it. It feels like the beginning of something longer, what I don’t know, but the point is that it felt like it could go on and I would want to keep reading.

    • Aaah, thank you, friend! I need to start doing more with my dreams. One impediment is that the way they make me feel starts out so strong upon waking and then dissipates so quickly, it’s hard to keep motivated to try to get that feeling back. The best ones have pieces that linger, though, and this freewrite was built on some of those.

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