Write Around PAM: Marilyn Levine

Photo of a sculpture representing a deep brown leather handbag. Viewed from the side, a rectangular handbag with both ends and middle collapse inward as if half empty. A highlight on the outward bulge of the main body of the bag is represented in a lighter color. A shoulder strap lies draped across the main body and lies next to the highlight. Hardware and rivets attach the strap to the main body of the bag at each end. A flat pocket with a flap is on the right end of the bag. Seams and stitching are clearly visible and a zipper puller is at the top center of the bag.

During this time, it is important we all take moments to pause. Writing is a great tool to reflect, de-stress, #breakforjoy and heal.

Join us for another mini-writing exercise focused on the people we are spending our days with (or are feeling separated from), using this piece from Marilyn Levine as inspiration.  

First, imagine a bag someone would carry. It could be this handbag, or a backpack, purse, suitcase or other bag. Imagine the person who owns the bag, and make a list of 5 things that you might find in their bag. Be as specific and descriptive as you’d like. Use your list as inspiration for a freewrite. 

Here are two prompts to help you get going. You can choose one, both or follow your own adventure. Set a timer for 10 minutes and just keep the pen moving. 

They always carried… / There’s no one quite like…

(If you are writing with others, trade your lists first and use this new-to-you list of items as inspiration for your freewrite. Once you are done writing, take turns sharing what you wrote with one another.)

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. Look for a new post every Sunday in May and please tag your work with #writearoundPAM so we can view and share your work! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum

Marilyn Levine, Handbag, 1988, ceramic, Gift of Douglas and Lila Goodman, © unknown, research required, 2001.90.17

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