October 14th, 2002

Photo - leaves

free creative writing training

courtesy of jerry hope and sigmund freud ;)

today we did an exercise in creative writing/psychological analysis/symbolism and it freaked most people out when we found out what it meant. try this for yourself, it's really very bizarre. you don't necessarily have to do the 'creative writing' part, but go through the exercise and see what you end up with. (i've included the bits i wrote down as lj-cuts, with added comments in these: '{' and '}', followed by what the hell it could possibly mean...)

Symbolism Exercise (quoted from memory as spoken to us...)

Close your eyes. Imagine you are waking up. When you do, you realise that you're not in your own bedroom, but another one, the bedroom you've always wanted. Imagine it. What does it smell like? What does it look like? Can you hear anything? Is it cold or warm?

Leave the room and explore the rest of the house. Again, what does it look like and smell like? How many rooms does it have?

Describe the house.

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Leave the house by whatever means. Outside, you find a path, leading off into the countryside at the back of the house. You follow the path for a few minutes, and then you stop when you see a cup lying in the middle of it. Describe the cup.

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Put the cup down again, and step over it. Keep walking. As you walk, the path leads into a forest. The trees are sparse at first, but as you keep walking, they become denser and thicker overhead. The birdsong stops and it becomes very dark.

Just as you're considering turning back, you suddenly come to a clearing, and in the middle of the clearing is a garden. Take a good look at the garden. Is it overgrown, or is it cared-for? What sort of things are growing in it? How does it smell?

In the middle of the garden is a centre-piece. What is it? What is it made of?

Describe the garden.

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You leave the garden and follow the path back into the forest, which grows denser again as you walk through it. It starts to clear, however, and you come to a stretch of grass. In the distance is a wall. When you come to the wall, you walk some distance along it to your left. Finding no doors or any way through or around it, you go back and head in the opposite direction. You find a door, ignore it for the time being and see if there's any other way around the wall. Finding nothing, you decide to head back to the door.

If you don't want to go through the door, stop now.

If you do, open the door and describe what is on the other side of it.

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Keep walking from wherever you are. Eventually, you come to some water. Describe the water.

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that's it.

now for what all the things represent.

the house = how you view your life
the cup = how you see yourself
the garden = how you see your childhood
the centrepiece of the garden = how you treat your secrets
the wall = death
whether or not you go through the door = your attitude to beyond death
the water = your attitude to the afterlife

and, on reflection, it's so true it's scary. analysis possibly coming later ;)