Thursday, February 16, 2012

'The Rockefeller Proposal' - A Writing Exercise

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Today I thought I would share some of my writing. I have wanted to mix it up here on my blog so this is a first step for me in starting to share more of my creativity outside of photography and mixed media.

The following piece was written by me 2 years ago around the 20th anniversary of my first engagement. Most of you know by now that I was widowed when I was 25 years old. And although I have been happily remarried for 9 years now the difficult times I have gone through often fuel my writing. This was a moment I didn't share in my memoir. I took it on as a writing exercise one day to practice writing in the present tense. I feel as though the present tense really pulls the reader into the story or at least that is what happens for me.

Thanks for taking the time to read . . .

I am standing on the sidwalk staring at my mittens. My hands feel so cold I don't want to take them off to refasten a button. It's the button high up on the neck of my new grey and pink stripped wool coat. My fingers feel numb and I think maybe I should invest in a new pair of much warmer mittens. The wind whips through my long hair. I feel it burn my cheeks on its way past me. I refuse to wear a hat as not to mess up my hair. I am wearing lipstick so a much needed scarf across my face just won't do.

He is standing next to me. I can feel the warmth of him coming through his winter coat. It is my first time seeing the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and I am in awe of its beauty. The lights are twinkling so bright I can feel the corners of my mouth burst into a smile. It feels like I am somewhere else. Somehow transported to another place. I am thinking about how magical this time of year can be. I feel his arm slip around my waist. I am home is what I think. We have known each other for so long how can it not feel that way. The crowd is two deep at this point. It is like we are the only ones here. I barely feel him grab my mittened hand as he is leading me over to the other side of the tree. I am glancing up at the angels so bright and white. I am unsure of where these steps are taking me.

The wind is kicking up again blowing the smell of roasted nuts from a street vendor toward my nose. We are both silent. I am wondering if he can read my mind.

"Hey Cat...take your mittens off. " I hear him say.

"No way! Its freezing out here! My hands are cold as it is."

"Just for a minute. Please..." he says.

I don't want to but I do it. I would do anything for him. I am hoping he will hold my hand to keep it warm. I feel him slowly grab my hand.

As I am turning around to hug him I watch him lower himself to the ground.

"What are you doing? Its freezing! Did your shoelace come untied or something?"

He is now on one knee. I still don't get it. My heart is racing. I am not sure why. I think that maybe this is the moment. My eyes are beginning to widen despite the cold hard air blowing into them. He is glancing up at me with the smile of a wide eyed child. It is happening too fast. I don't want to miss it.

"Cathy, I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" he asks.

I am wondering if this is really happening. I don't want it to end. I am in shock. I see only him. The tears are welling up. I am afraid they may freeze on the way down my cheek. My lips are quivering now.

"Yes! Yes! Yes!!" I say.

I feel the ring slide on my finger and then become intertwined with his hand. As he is pulling me up to him I am thinking about how happy I am. I almost feel giddy. I can see the tears in his eyes too. I can feel them now as his cheek is touching mine. His arms are holding me tight. And I am thinking again how good it feels to finally be home...


  1. That is just beautiful, Cathy! I was right there with you two and felt the immensity of that moment!! One to cherish for sure!! Love, Silke

  2. Cathy, this is very touching! Your description is so vivid, I could almost feel the wind and the cold.

  3. Awww, Cathy! This is so romantic. Out of all places, The Rockefeller Center at Christmas time. Oh, I picture the scene in front of me. Yes, the present tense has a way of pulling in the reader, that's why my mentor told me. Lovely!

  4. How nice to be able to put so much emotion into words. :-)

  5. Well; you are obviously a multi-talented artist. This is a very moving story. I also love your photo below!

  6. It's a very touching story, Cathy. I'm not a fan of the simple present, but it worked well here. I use it to report my dreams. It makes it easier for me to relive the dream and remember more details as I write.
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Cathy you truly touched me with this piece of writing, sending little shivers up me, so vivid! Yes very in the moment, beautifully expressed, thanks for sharing. xx

  8. Well, I am a fan of the simple present, and this was perfect--I hope you write more.....