This is Not a Place to Linger

by | May 6, 2012

This post was imported from an old blog I used to have.

Creative Non-Fiction Class

We had a substitute instructor one week in February and she had us do an in-class assignment that I quite liked. She played us a few YouTube videos: some narrative folk songs, and a few poets reading their work. Then we had to take one of the pieces that resonated with us and copy the style, telling our own story.  The poem I liked had the line “this is not a place to linger” repeated throughout (of course, I threw out my notes from the class and can’t remember who it was). I came up with the first four paragraphs, pretty much as is, in class, and added the final two later. I enjoyed the free-writing exercise and was pleased with how it turned out. Although not a formal assignment, I kept it in my portfolio for the end of the year. (February 2011)

Although the orange and auburn leaves in the valley look beautiful this time of year, this is not a place to linger. When the deep, dark days of December descend into that valley, and the cold, coal black skies begin to spit out sparkling snowflakes you will begin to realize that this is not a place to linger.

This is not a place to linger, even if you enjoy the silly, slippery sports like skiing, sledding and skating. There are better places than this to play.

When the twinkling lights and cheerful snowmen begin to appear, you may think that it isn’t so bad. Plied with the spirits of the season (rum and eggnog, mulled wine, hot chocolate with marshmallows and peppermint schnapps) you will believe that all is merry and bright, but don’t be fooled. This is not a place to linger.

A new year brings hope and the promise of a fresh start, but this is not a place to linger. Soon the frost, the cold, the snow, the cold, the ice, the cold, the wind and the cold will convince you: this is not a place to linger.

If you survive the winter you’ll begin to wonder if Crayola has released their special edition Spring in Northern Alberta box of 64 shades of brown and grey. You will forget the beauty of autumn and winter and realize that that this is not a place to linger.

Don’t let the budding leaves and warmer temperatures fool you. This is not a place to linger. Work a part-time job while you finish high school. Find a cheap apartment in the city and leave as soon as you can. This is not a place to linger, and if you don’t get out now you may never leave.