GROUP:

True Stories

Login Open Group - Anyone Can Join

Print



This prompt is no longer active. Please select a new prompt to start writing a new piece.

Dual Existence



Full Details


In his famous essay, “Once More to the Lake”, E.B. White describes the experience of returning to a lake in Maine—a place he hasn’t visited since boyhood. This time, he brings along his own son, and as they set out fishing the first morning, White feels as though nothing has changed in the intervening years:
 
I felt the same damp moss covering the worms in the bait can, and saw the dragonfly alight on the tip of my rod as it hovered a few inches from the surface of the water. It was the arrival of this fly that convinced me beyond any doubt that everything was as it always had been, that the years were a mirage and there had been no years. The small waves were the same, chucking the rowboat under the chin as we fished at anchor, and the boat was the same boat, the same color green and the ribs broken in the same places, and under the floor boards the same freshwater leavings and debris--the dead helgramite, the wisps of moss, the rusty discarded fishhook, the dried blood from yesterday's catch. 
 
In the manner of White, write about an experience in which time collapses, and you are living what White refers to as a “dual existence”—both in the present and past. Perhaps you’ll write about an annual family tradition—a camping trip or holiday­—that seems to blend into one memory. Or perhaps you’ll write about another annual or repeating experience in your life: the start of school, your favorite walking path, football tryouts…