Writing and the Kitchen Sink

 

Last year I bought this thin, funny book called Unjournaling, written by Dawn DiPrince and Cheryl Miller Thurston. I am not going to review it now, just to give you an example of the type of practice that you can find in the book.

Unjournaling has daily writing exercises that claim to be “not introspective, not personal, not boring”, some of them are actually quite fun. Below is what I did in response to an exercise which asked to describe the yucky stuff in the sink drain without using certain words. That got me thinking about the life of those microscopic creatures that live in that stuff, that are that stuff, that live with us, thrive and die because of our lives. But, sometimes, one simply must clean the kitchen sink. 😁

Life at the Bottom of the Sink

The sink’s drain is like a six-poke silvery wheel that, instead of wheeling vehicles around, guards the entrance to a secret world where only water and food particles are allowed to enter. The creatures that inhabit this gate like to stick together, they form their racially-discriminating groups near each other and strictly keeping their boundaries; white, filmy masses at the edge of the wheel, grainy black masses on the inside.  If the water runs abundantly and you don’t disturb them, the two co-inhabiting colonies swell. The white, filmy colony becomes a spiderweb that the spider forgot to form into threads, a parachute of white and beige, a canvas gate that gathers bread crumbs and soggy rice grains and slows the passage of the water. The dark colony expands its territory, but they just want to explore, to color, to live, they don’t care much about slowing the flow of water. They live in the same world, these two colonies of microscopic people; they are subjected to the same threats and the same needs but their lives are not the same.

When the big sink brush and the dishwashing soap attack, some members of the colonies are washed away but the beige filmy thing holds on, they stick together even when the dark flowerets are helplessly washed away. When the Chlorox comes, some despair, some become loose, water flows away with the outliers, but the founding members are stuck fast to the silvery wheel, they are not giving up their territory, even as the bleached bodies of the dark flowerettes are washed down the gate. But not all is lost, life is extremely resilient and the survivors rally, black, beige, white to rebuild the things that are lost.

The drain universe is bountiful and the water full of food washes past, the colonies  grow, their microscopic forest at the edge of the drain grows, they are grateful for the mercy of their microbial gods.

That is a deceitful calm. The next day drain cleaner is poured into them all, beige, black, white, green, they all feel the end of the world encroaching into the fragile coherence of their lives.

References and links: https://www.bookdepository.com/Unjournaling-Dawn-DiPrince/9781877673702