Word Prompt: Repair | Story Prompt: from the book “If I Knew Then” by Jann Arden

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“For me, failing, in the moment that it’s happening, is completely horrible and exhausting. I hate it, I really do, and I’m pretty sure everyone else does too. I have learned, though, as time goes by, that each failure always reveals itself to be an instance where Merlin steps out of the mist with his long staff and saves the day. It’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be. There’s always something positive that comes of it, though you might not see that right away. You might not realize that Merlin was there saving you until decades later. Failing is a necessity, I’m afraid, especially if you want to get anywhere.

I have failed at so many things, it’s impressive. I don’t have any regrets in that department.”


I’ve got this feather in my pocket. I picked it up while out on a walk the other day. It’s still in the pocket of my coat; I’d forgotten it there.

It’s about the length of my palm, and as wide as about two of my fingers. It’s got a kind of stripe to it: wide bands alternating white-ish and a grey-brown horizontal. The feather’s tip is squarish, like cut bangs. I’m not exactly sure what kind of bird it came from. Secretly, I’m hoping it’s a hawk feather or some other kind of bird of prey, but more than likely it’s a partridge feather, which is why I suppose I haven’t bothered to look it up yet. I’ve got pretty glass jar to put it in, along with other feathers I’ve found.

Having a jar of found feathers is like the box I have with letters I’ve received and kept. I don’t keep them all; it is a random collection, as random as the feathers I find.

They, both the feathers and the letters, are such gifts to me. Letters from both family and friends, young and old, for special occasions or for nothing at all, yet gifts, all. The feathers are like messages sent from above, from those who came before me. The mothers and the grandmothers and the aunties. The dads and the grandfathers and the uncles. Reminders for me that I am never alone, that they are here with me, helping me.

These feather messages are a lightness and optimism I feel in my head and in my heart. They are whispers in my ear telling me I’m okay, that I’m enough, and that I’m where I need to be. I just need to remember to listen.


Do you collect anything? Maybe stones or driftwood? Seeds or flowers? Do your collections remind you of something else entirely? Do you ever use your collections to help with your writing? Share your thoughts here!

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