A Letter to a Younger Man from My Deathbed
I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of writing prompts. Often their cliché topics turn me off and I stick my nose up at them in disgust. That’s changed with Write Yourself Alive. The prompts are great for keeping me focused, and they’re actually teaching me a lot about myself too. This course is not just an exercise in writing. It’s an exercise in self discovery.
For Day 5 we were to ask ourselves what we’d write about if we weren’t afraid. Then we were to write the last page of the last letter we’d ever write on our last day of life. Mine was somewhat connected because I started the last page of my letter right after I would have written what I’m most afraid to write about, namely those things growing up that caused me the most pain. Here’s what I’d say after:
That’s what hurt me most. That’s
what disgusted me most. I learned
young that people can be despicable.
But through all this I prevailed. I
could’ve cried my life away, but
what’s the point in that? I let
the pain drive me instead.
Isn’t that the best way to live? I
mean this is the human condition.
A constant pit in our stomachs — endless
heartache. Why focus on that stuff?
I realized early enough that I’m not
alone. So I stopped focusing on all
that. There’s too much beauty out there.
I’ll pass soon — go away from this earth.
I’ll close my eyes, dream & fade. But
I’m not scared. I saw the beauty, I soaked
in experience enough for my thirsty soul.
It’s time for me to rest. Time for you to learn.
What would you write about?