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Exercise Wednesday: One Breath Away From Peace

December 12, 2012

Sometimes a phrase just sounds like the most polished precious stone you might want to see. As I was writing posts, I was watching Holly Hunter’s show Saving Grace on Netflix. It was mostly background noise, but it was there.

In the show’s last season, Hunter’s character, Grace Hanadarko, has to deal with the impending death of her grandfather, an Indian she calls Geepaw. In a lucid moment, he asks her to take him to a place outside, where he can feel the wind and be where he’s always been comfortable. He wants this done in two days time, as that is when he will die.

When the time comes, she does as he asks. As she hears his death rattle, she says it sounds like a war. Her angel Earl (you have to see the show) says to him it sounds like somebody one breath away from peace.

What a magnificent phrase.

Today’s exercise is to write a story of a character who is one breath away from peace. You can write it from the point of view of the person who is one breath away from peace or from someone else’s point of view. But really consider the feelings of someone about to leave a world of chaos and upheaval and depart into bliss–or not, as you desire it.

Time limit: 40 minutes.

  1. December 12, 2012 11:25 am

    Thanks for sharing that phrase. Gave me chills. Just what a dear friend needed to hear right now.


  2. December 12, 2012 12:19 pm

    This phrase is a powerhouse. Having experienced death-bed vigils, I appreciate this recasting. It both captures and transforms the moment. Thanks!

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