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  • Matthew Foley

Writing Prompt: Transparent Eyeball



Here at Contribute Your Verse, we're launching a new series of writing prompts to help kickstart your creativity. These prompts are designed for both aspiring authors as well as for folks using writing for self-discovery & healing. We're hoping to release a new prompt each week & would love for you to share any of the writing or insights that grow out of these prompts.


For this first one, I wanted to go back to one of the first memorable writing exercises I did as a high school student, around the time I was first falling in love with writing. We were studying Ralph Waldo Emerson in Ms. Compton’s 11th Grade English class & we focused on this particular passage from his essay Nature:


“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life - no disgrace, no calamity, which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground - my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space - all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.”


Ms. Compton took the whole class outside with our notebooks & pens and challenged us, in the spirit of Emerson, to write about nature from the perspective of a “transparent eyeball.”

I’m going to challenge you to do the same thing.


Go to a natural space nearby, whether it’s a local park, beach, or just your backyard.


Take some deep, calming breaths, letting go of any tensions or worries from the day.


Open up all your senses and take in the fullness of the natural world. Begin writing what you see, what you smell, hear, taste, and touch.


Let go of yourself and your problems for a few moment and become a transparent eyeball...  watching and writing all the wonder of the world.


Good luck & happy writing.

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