Fruits of the Narrative Time Line

By Elizabeth Cutright
© 2012 The Daily Creative Writer


Last week I talk about one of Julia Cameron‘s tools, the Narrative Timeline.  The idea is to write about your life in five year intervals.  Not only can it give you a sense of the greater patterns in your life – where you’ve been and where you might be headed – but it can also reveal a past full of creative material.

I’ve been working on the timeline over the weekend, and here’s the first bit of content I was able to glean from my five-year intervals.  Perhaps this will inspire you to take a stab at your own life’s story.

Changing Views
By Elizabeth Cutright

I was born in a hospital in Inglewood,
the night after my parents watched Wilt Chamberlain;
cheering their team to victory as the star player
notched another win on his 33-game sweep.

We lived in Redondo Beach,
in a suburban split level with
a white station wagon in the driveway,
and a set of steep and narrow stairs.

In those early photos,
I have long straight hair and a fringe of heavy bangs.
My pale face holds serious mouth and thoughtful eyes,
but my smiles are wonton and free.

The settings in those photos are varied –
parking lots, beach towels, poolside in Las Vegas.
There’s no sense of permanence or routine:
We were always on the go.

Later we lived in an angelic white craftsman.
Brick fireplace and a backyard full of fruit trees.
My rusty, creaky swing-set would hop and moan,
As I swung up and down, my view rising above our tall wooden fence:
rolling hills full of yellow grass and wildflowers.

(June 4, 2012)

2 thoughts on “Fruits of the Narrative Time Line

  1. How timely 🙂 My writing group is doing this exercise right now, I’ve read “The Artist’s Way” and began “Finding Water” as well as “The Vein of Gold”. sometimes I find it’s hard to just sit and write…rather than read how to write, or read. Nice post, it has inspired me!

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