A free-writing exercise which I heard about, and wrote, when I was studying in Singapore; Ask yourself the questions; what would you do if you only had left; 1 year, then 1 month, 1 week, 1 day, 1 hour, 1 minute and finally 1 second ?
The results of this writing exercise ended up being quite surprising;
Year – get away, leave school now, take with me Basho and Dostoievsky and a small bag and fall away. Would you still speak to your parents? I would come back after 11 months and 3 weeks, fall back into their house and have a painful final week of giving myself back to them.
Month – no time to go anywhere, to build another existence elsewhere.. so go back to… where? Maybe not go back, then. Smoke a lot of cigarettes in my room, drink a lot of alcohol and write. Write and feel the pain of my impending departure and maybe at one point I will feel the urge to go back home. Maybe just for a few days, hug my parents, even if they don’t get it. Where to go to write? Take food into the mountains, find a place next to a stream – meditate and write write write and jump and scream.
Week – fuck, I’m stuck in Singapore… stay here? No, go back home, I think.. or maybe not. Call your parents, kiss Jonas, as the symbol for all the passion you have and have had and will have had. Maybe take that passion, take it all and stay in Singapore and finally go crazy. Write and scream and sing sing make a song. I’m not in the mountains, I’m not by myself but, surely, there is a way of embracing emotions… not sleep. Just write and have sex and write and go lie on the grass somewhere day after day..
day – go walk naked through Utown, smiling at everyone. sing, let blurriness cover your mind. Have sex. Don’t talk, don’t say anything to anyone, what is there to say? Write a letter/poem to your parents. And to who else? Sad that I can’t think of anyone else I would need to write a letter to.. write poems and scatter each page of the poetry in random places. Maybe send a few to people, it depends what comes out.
Hour – lie back. Think. Write maybe a little bit. But mainly think. Remember, sketch out what your life was. Play around with your body. Cut hair, cut bits of it, see what’s under flesh, burn, test out pain directly.
Minute – go stand outside the flat, on the balcony. Stand right on the ledge. Maybe jump, maybe don’t, it doesn’t matter.
Second – scream . Maybe fear, maybe just that final scream against the having existed.