It didn’t take long for Your Daily Prompt to become Your Weekly Prompt. And now it seems to be Your Whenever I Get Around to it Prompt.
This blog was meant to hold me accountable. It was going to be my way of ‘writing down the bones’. And with a bit of luck YDP would encourage readers to use the posted photo as their own writing prompt. My goal was to see Your Daily Prompt become a safe place to write and to share.
It was meant to be easy. How difficult could it be to write for five minutes? More difficult than I anticipated.
Yet I’m not throwing in the towel. Not yet.
What follows are one hundred and forty nine words inspired by the photograph. I took this image while on a ferry crossing the Irish Sea in 1991. My jumping off point for the paragraph below were the three children at the railing and the man’s shadow.
They sent the children away during the war. My brother and I were on a boat to our grandparents in Ireland by 1939 and that’s why I don’t always remember my father. We were separated by time and circumstance. When I see him in my mind’s eye I see a man who was at first like a shadow. A man who was like darkness falling.
And then, after the war, my father became less than a shadow. He seemed tangled and wrapped by a shroud that bound him to his struggle.
Shipped back from Wicklow when I was nine, I spent 1945 shuttled between our shaken home and the cousins who raised pigs on a farm near Scunthorpe. At home with my parents – the adults who were charged with teaching me about life – I learned to fear. On the pig farm, with my cousins, I learned to live.