Day 7: January Mindful Writing Challenge (how are you doing?)

Mirror by Maury McCownA middle-aged man sees himself as others see him and sobs.

Wayne Scheer


We’re on the seventh day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge – please post your small stone in the comments below.

How are you finding it so far? Has it been easy/difficult? Have you missed a day or three? Have you noticed yourself noticing more? Do let us know underneath your small stone today.

If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

Mirror by maury.mccown

Comments & replies

126 thoughts on “Day 7: January Mindful Writing Challenge (how are you doing?)

  1. Kay Walker

    Life abounds through these big blue eyes,
    receiving new data and stimuli.
    It is always a yes, and never a mess
    for Divine carries me and teaches with zest.

  2. Linda

    I am at the backyard clothesline with my washing. In the trees, a single cicada starts up, sounding like a car engine with starter motor problems.
    Each start-up attempt becomes weaker, and the intervals between become longer. After a dozen tries, the cicada gives up and all is quiet again. I wonder what caused its problem.

  3. Brinda


    Now that the basement is
    cleaned from years’of stagnant
    grime and resistance
    to release the un-required
    but still prisoners of desire
    I walk around on tip-toes
    just in case I disturb
    the new inhabitants
    from my undreamt dreams


  4. Kylie Whyte

    The cursor flashes accusingly on a blank, bleak screen.
    This inertia seems to go on forever
    But then
    the glimmer of an idea
    the potential of the unexpressed
    and words tap dance their way into form

  5. Valerie Letkeman

    I sit in the caliginous dark
    eating crisps.
    Munching, I watch the snowfall
    Through the gauzy starless gloom
    of monotonous winter.
    I lick the salt of consolation
    from my fingers.

    1. Keli

      Love this! The salt of consolation is something I (and my very probably crisp addiction!) know well 🙂
      And a new word to my vocabulary – ‘caliginous’ – lovely.

  6. Judi Sillifant

    I saw an apple tree today from which every leaf had fled
    but a few apples,
    still blushing with Summer’s kiss,
    hung on like a whisper in the wintry mist.

    1. Keli

      Beautiful; I have a tree very similarly dressed on my way to work 🙂 This evoked it perfectly.

  7. Dorothee

    Tuesday morning. Dark sky with a string of blue,
    and at the horizon, a pulsing stream of lights,
    coming and going –
    early morning traffic.

  8. oakhart

    I can see clearly now…
    The Land of My Fathers calling me home.
    Back to the Fens, to East Anglia,
    Where land and water morph and meld
    And life’s sweet mysteries dance in the air
    Beyond word
    Beyond definition.
    To affirm life’s magic and to release life’s pain.
    To surrender to its shifting waters
    And born through life’s twists and turns,
    Back home to the place
    Where I am free to be ME

    I watched Neil Oliver’s excellent programme on Sacred Landscape last night and was taken into an altered state of consciousness akin to an ecstatic state. He talks about the sacred nature of the Fens and our ancestors response to it.

  9. Cilla Sparks

    The radiator beside me creaks its warmth,
    Washing machine slops, turns.
    I sip my breakfast coffee.

    Outside, trees,
    Calm after lashing storms,
    Drip gently.
    Tyres swish on flooded roads,
    A robin sings.

  10. Daphne Radenhurst

    Aftermath of my Twelth Night party,
    Crumpled paper napkins and silverfoil from chocolates,
    Crumbs on the carpet, on the tablecloth,
    Remnants of the ‘galette’, (12th night cake),
    Empty bottles, glasses, some half full,
    Heap of Christmas cards, to be looked at later,
    Pile of washing up in the sink,
    Still in the air
    Conversation and laughter,
    Toast to Happy New Year!
    Two crowns, one gold, one silver.

    I realise I have been spelling twelfth wrong, wondered why it was always underlined in red. On the Continent this night (Epiphany) is sometimes celebrated with a special cake ‘galette’ in which are concealed two small figurines. Whoever finds them is crowned King and Queen for the night. A very nice custom, I always think, and as we have a French bakery in Bath ……

    Some stones seem to come to me ready made, others I have to work away at.

    1. oakhart

      Daphne I love the tone of this piece, such excitement and yet such sorrow at the passing of the festivities. Especially love what you say about the Galette, I didn’t realise.


  11. SM Jenkin

    The Rawwwcccccchhhhht white froth rises to the height of the white mug. Next is the espresso; plastic tub emptied out, new smaller one placed carefully with a prayer that the new fancy machine, courtesy of Santa, does not break so early in the new year. But Oh – that smell! The freshly split beans spill their moist earthiness through the office. The froth topples precariously, a single chocolate cherry dot on top. I swoop in; suck the falling bubbles from the side. Creamy sweetness on my tongue, a barbershop quartet of warm laughter gusts across the wooden floor; bliss.

  12. julie daigle

    My home: place, heart, family, foundation, history, safety, song. In your sturdy arms and beneath your shingled umbrella, I learn how to love that which is mine, simply.

  13. freya pickard

    the swish-scrape of the broom as I push it away from me revealing damp concrete and dead weeds, swish scrape thump as I bang the broom head on the ground releasing dirt and stained balls of snowflakes

    © Freya Pickard 2014

  14. Lizzie Carver

    Palest mint-green, lichen florets gleam softly from the darkling rain-sodden, wind-blown debris underfoot.

    1. Lizzie Carver

      I agree with Daphne, above – some stones arrive complete while others need to be chipped out of the rock! But always worth the time and space and looking…

  15. JulesPaige

    a tanka:
    a quiver of nerves
    dream of cat and mouse
    another chase to wake from
    before… getting caught
    shake cobwebs, find words, paper
    and pen; capture racing heart

  16. Laurel Regan

    cocooned in fragrant comfort
    warm silken water, coconut-and-lime-scented steam
    curtain harshly yanked
    chilled onrush of ice-cold air

  17. Carol A. Stephen

    Jan. 7, 2014

    To stand outside myself
    a moment to consider
    the vastness of the universe
    how small my presence in it

    how am I connected
    to the world around me

    how am I connected
    to the stars?


  18. Nicole

    Simmering vegetable casserole,
    Relaxing music in the background
    Just savouring the moment…

    I am used to notice things… I’m a french song and book writer…
    But it is fun to try and do it in english ! Big challenge ! 🙂

  19. Jean S

    Furnace blowing dried-out air.
    Feet rumble on floor above.
    Click of keyboard.
    Breathing shallow.
    Furnace sighs off.

  20. Paul L. White

    Round the bend, their hooves I see:
    Chores advancing in quick pace.
    “Down the stretch” will never be–
    This is simply Life’s great Race.
    I’m so glad to sit a spell,
    Sending words to all of you.
    Briefly put: “please do be well.”
    Off I run, there’s much to do!

    1. Jean S

      To speak my mind requires readiness. By staying in the moment l begin to stand upright and walk toward truth, mindful of past hesitancy hedges and tripping over old rose brambles. Joy comes from letting go of thorny old stories I tell myself and laying small stones and then leaping free with an Aha!

    2. hula~la

      To Jane…close your eyes, take a deep breath and breathe in all the good vibrations that are being sent your way as you LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Accept the simple JOY and inner peace that comes from just being. I know not of your condition, but I send you my best intentions with all of my Aloha Spirit for sheer comfort. Peace be with you.

    3. Karen Greenbaum-Maya

      Part of your living in the moment was realizing how little her enjoyment had to do with your needs. I hope you will, lovingly, cancel her next visit. Part of accepting a medical disability is embracing your limitations. For me, at least, living in my moment(s) has meant placidly saying, “I can’t.”

    4. Karen Greenbaum-Maya

      Jane, I am so grateful to you for posting this. It has been haunting me (or hanging around, if you prefer) ever since I read and commented earlier. You have helped me remember that my ability varies and that it has changed over the last few years. I need to change how I entertain the adult children, and now I believe I will, and shall. Thank you.

  21. Elizabeth G. Howard (@smallstate)

    you want to brave the cold? I can wrap you up
    totally: velvet scarf, down parka, mitts,
    a rabbit skin hat grandpa stitched himself, and
    two pairs of woolen socks. you want to
    brave a path into
    tomorrow? wear

  22. Pam Niles

    The elongated crinkling sound
    of my plastic sole slippers
    lifting up from the stone tile
    the floors require mopping.

  23. Claire Maycock

    I’ve just published my first week’s stones on my blog:

    This is my third year taking part in the January challenge and this year I’ve added an extra element by making each entry a haiku. I really love the practice of composing each day so thank you for organising!

  24. Andrea

    Florida Freeze

    After tucking the ferns in snup
    underneath old bed sheets,
    I listen from inside
    to the cold wind lullaby
    through the palms.

    1. Andrea

      Florida Freeze

      After tucking the ferns in snug
      underneath old bed sheets,
      I listen from inside
      to the cold wind lullaby
      through the palms.

    1. Elizabeth Burns

      Busy Day Small Stone:
      The hardest part is to stop being busy
      and that’s the best part too…

  25. laurie granieri

    Two fitful sleeps, tea to rouse me, 7 degrees Fahrenheit, the computer screen glows but holds no answers and no warmth, until Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter…”

    And I remember my father, the risks he urged me to take. So, tea. Risks. Space heater. Winter for spring, spring for winter. Amen.

  26. angie werren

    the doors
    are frozen shut like the window
    your phone voice
    faraway and small I wonder if you
    remembered gloves a warm hat

  27. Virginia Curtis- Threadgill

    The sounds draw me out the door; the percussive, tinkling, broken glass sound of a million shards of pelleted ice upon my roof. I stay in the relative safety of the covered porch and look out at the horses. They call to me with soft whinnies, “Are you here to feed us?”

  28. John S Oliver

    Piano Sits Lifeless

    There in the corner of the living room the lovely polished black object resides.
    It is attractive but it was not created only for visual beauty.
    The musical instrument requires the actions of a human.
    And not just any human can cause appealing sounds to fill the room.
    If a curious child, monkey or I used the keys it could not be called music.
    Only a trained person can coax life from those dormant keys.

  29. Allison Shapiro

    Untamed and tumultuous, air bellows boldly
    Stirring up an otherwise torpid sky
    Volcanic like, litter and debris are spitting aloft

  30. Helen Lewis

    *Three impressions from an evening walk*

    a Mother Goose moon above cobbled streets
    the scent of woodsmoke


    a stranger’s smile
    fills my heart with helium


    as I walk under a streetlamp
    an unseen thrush
    fast-forwards the dawn

  31. Jill Salahub

    My favorite thing about smartphones is that they have a camera, which means Eric can text me pictures when he and Sam are hiking. I wish I could be with them, instead of at work like I usually am, but second best is to be able to see what they see, how beautiful it is, to know that they are together there, that they are thinking of me. (with pictures,

  32. Susan Sleepwriter

    There is fennel playing
    reckless by the tracks
    heads of gold dancing
    weeds climbing on their backs.

  33. Hajra

    I have not missed out on a day yet…
    A 31 day plan I have set…
    Post I shall every day…
    To say what I feel, and then to feel what I say…

  34. Patricia

    I sit in my comfortable chair. My eyes are closed. Bit by bit I release the tension in my entire body. I enjoy the not-seeing. While I listen and really hear, my brain is writing this stone.

  35. sgreerpitt

    January 7, 2014

    sunshine beckons.
    toboggan snugged, shawl wrapped,
    coat buttoned, bear-waddle
    to the mailbox.

  36. Kellie Edwards

    Shaky tenderness. Turning towards a fear I do not feel courage. Not straight away. But I have been here before. I know that keeping my heart wide open, holding it in the “cradle of loving kindness” and gently accepting this fear as a part of me is the path to courage. Pause. Dropping the habitual storyline and looking at my fear with love feels like shaky tenderness. Allowing myself to be as I am even if I don’t like how it’s going I feel grounded again. I can depend on myself. I will be there for myself. Not hiding. Not pretending. It softens. It humbles. I can stand up and walk forward again. Thank you Pema.

  37. Sharon Black

    I remove my wet boots,
    my drooping duffel.
    My therapist lights her Calor
    gas heater, nudging the match
    into the metal cage.
    A single blue flame
    tests the air before
    whoofing across the bars
    like a spirit level.

  38. Gary Hewitt

    Cornea razed by a halogen burst
    Light blindness in rustic dark
    ‘Mate, turn your main beam off.’

  39. Angela

    The football sits lonely on the lawn. Polly gazes out of the window longingly. Looks back – will you play with me? Impossible to deny those labrador eyes.

  40. Brinda


    A beautiful day greets
    my mellowed body
    eyes puffed with hope
    a stomach that rumbles
    and craves for scrambled eggs
    with yellow yolk just
    like the sun rays passing
    through the kitchen window,
    bright and glowing with
    even more hope to be shared
    with a pinch of salt
    as the phone recalls
    the text messages to be
    answered asap
    and the only confirmation
    that I have is that I have
    to run to the water closet
    and let the day run
    its glorious show..


  41. Nerissa

    A dog let loose,
    A joyful, four-footed dance.
    One moment all the world is but scent, nose down,
    Then, wolf-gaited she trots, haunched and toothed.
    Ambiguous friend.

  42. Pookie

    Blue sea ripples in the gentle breeze
    Off-the-beaten-track quiet
    A moment in a busy day borrowed
    from another time –
    Time to draw a thoughtful breath
    Timeless peace.

  43. Brian Hasson

    A smile or a Hello costs you nothing, everyone you pass you should say hello too, you just never know!

  44. Trinny

    She asks me to come wash her hair.
    She’s nine years old. She can wash her own hair.
    I’m 30 years older. I’m tired. My back hurts,
    but I go to her.
    I’m afraid it might be the last time
    she needs my help.

  45. Cindy Bene

    The first baby goat of 2014 was born this morning. Always amazes me when they come at such awful times: twelve degrees with wind chill making it -2 degrees. A beautiful little girl full of life and hopping around already.

  46. bob

    First cooked meal in a new flat, leftovers put away and kitchen cleaned.
    New pots and pans, new recipe, new habits, new year.
    Baby steps to nesting.

  47. Lynn

    A smooth, shiny cover,
    the sound of crisp pages turning,
    that have nothing
    to do with the bitter cold –
    entering another world.

  48. NanLeah

    Dank. . .

    Sodden. . . soaked. . .

    Douglas fir pouts. . . . . .

    Cedars frown. . . Hemlock sulks. . .

    Rain. . .

  49. larry p

    Who knew that 2-liter bottles of ginger ale were so interesting?
    My toddler friend tips them over on the floor.
    Then, he proceeds to move them around,
    slowly, deliberately, cap end leading,
    pushing from the bottom end,
    with its bumps, designed to fit small hands.
    Then, turning them around deliberately,
    and pushing them the other direction, backhanded.
    The labels begin to shred.
    Little strips are be torn off,
    handled, viewed, tasted, fondled,
    eventually handed to the old guy looking on.

  50. Kathy Nguyen

    what does the world
    know of despair?
    howling through the stars
    my heart searches for things
    to make its own home

  51. Amy

    Dark eyes, sharp cheekbones. The light hangs on you as Rembrandt intended. And your lips would cause Caravaggio to swoon. Francis and Mario knew what they were doing when they placed the weight of Vito’s world on your shoulders.

  52. Lindy Fly

    1-7-14 10:17 pm No. ID
    My daughter plots heat,
    Mexico, beach, pyramids,

    What do I long for?
    Yeat’s question or maybe Life’s.
    Candle smells like fir.

  53. Mary-Jane Grandinetti

    fluid twists and plunges —
    the flock of black birds ride icy wind currents,
    patterns mutating the sky

  54. Jo Beall

    Breathing infinite love and gratitude deeply through our one heart,

    we dance together on the path of light…

    How could we travel otherwise?

  55. beverley

    Body wrapped, curled and stacked on a cushion pile. Sinking from all white noise. From time to time a familar sound, a mnemoic, cracks the numbed self and it rises. Someone speaks from my mouth. Then, sinking again into another wave, deeper now, longer now, lost, free.

  56. claire barton

    Day 7 ~
    Goodness me,
    A week already!
    these black symbols
    on white
    share my
    😀 <3 😀

  57. Catriona

    Conversations of the bookshelf folk;
    A bird and a butterfly dangle.
    One lightbulb glows, the other three sleep.
    Fine white china of a teacup candle,
    Peacock feather, faded heather,
    Ivy curls towards skeleton men.

  58. Satya Robyn Post author

    my laptop sits on the hearth as a programme cleans out the virus. inside my body the same thing happens.

  59. Nina

    You certainly notice more, I am sad that work gets in the way of me posting on time and prevents me from reading all the other stones though.

    Land littered with puddles,

    children relishing getting shoes wet and laughing

    as they splash each other.

  60. kaye

    January 10, writing Day 7.
    I am behind…
    Better catch up quick!
    Because it is January 10
    And I am on Day 7.

    Happily, I am living Day 10,
    Writing Day 7.
    Tomorrow will be Day 11,
    And if fate allows,
    I will be here writing again.

  61. Lynn

    A smooth, shiny cover,
    the sound of crisp pages turning,
    goose bumps
    that have nothing to do
    with the bitter cold-
    entering another world.

  62. S.E.Ingraham

    January 7, 2013


    There is an art to driving on ice at night, a certain amount
    of faith required also. The road looks dry, and clear, but
    after weeks of unremitting sub-Arctic temps coupled with
    almost daily blizzards, it stands to reason that appearances
    are deceiving. It takes just one time when you need to touch
    your brakes; you are suddenly in that sickening sidewise slide,
    that’s letting you know, an off-road accident is imminent,
    and all bets are off.

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