Wednesday Writing Prompts: Signs of Humanity

by thereisnosurvivorsguide

Moonlight in the kitchen is a sign of God. We don’t blame God for the empty cupboards in the kitchen. We blame ourselves for hardship, thank God for miracles. Are we capable of miracles? Is God responsible for hardship? The Christian God created the world in seven days. There are seven days in a week for working. After working six, God rested. After working seven, are you rested? Are you working? On the radio last night you told us that she told you: “Idle hands are the sign of the devil,” so you kept working through your disability. Have you noticed there are many signs of God, always “a sign” of God, but when it comes to the devil it is absolute, “the sign” of the devil? Absolute, but we don’t capitalize devil. There are a million ways to capitalize, just tug on your bootstraps and climb up to the glass ceiling. At the top, pressed against the glass, who do you see? Do you see God? Is this success a sign of God? Take off those old boots and thank God that you made it, glass top. Drop those bootstraps, now you need to find a way to hold on to that glass. Grip, slip, drop. Get a grip on those bootstraps but they are gone now– you are barefoot. Barefoot, and pressed to the bottom, who do you see? Do you see the devil? Are empty cupboards in the kitchen the sign of the devil? Is capitalism, busy hands, making your way up, up, closer to the heavens a sign of God?

Where are the signs of humanity? Absolute signs like the devil? Varied and mysterious signs like God? They created them both, God and the devil, in our image. They say we climb to heaven if we work, keep working. Rest–if we don’t work hard enough, absolutely the devil they say. They, on the other side of the glass.


Prompt: Begin this exercise with the sentence: “Moonlight in the kitchen is a sign of God.” which is from Anne Carson’s poem: “God’s Work.”

Then, write something in which each sentence has one word from the previous sentence and is a reexamination of the previous sentence and that crucial word. And on and on.

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