Oregon Writing Project


Griot: Shifting uncomfortably in his wooden seat, glancing at the ceiling as though strands of words might be hung there like a dusty chandelier, the man, weathered by life and soft at the corners, rubbed his whiskered chops thoughtfully before beginning, "It's a long story—although  all of them are," and his audience, like thirsty beasts at the water's edge, leaned-in to lap up fresh memories. —Susanne Dora

The Path Taken: The sun, shinning as bright as a star on a clear night, absorbed by many people—giving the energy to go about their day, warming hearts, souls, minds and body—showing the path that must be taken. —Charisse Elliott

The Common Room: Once a common room for the "Ancient Ones", the Anasazi, it had long been abandoned—its builders simply fading away centuries ago—now in ruins, open, exposed, desiccated by both time and hopelessness as well as the hot desert air, inviting no one: not its builders nor the families that lived and died in the room, nor their descendents, the modern indigenous Indians that people this region . . . its walls fashioned of rough-hewn stone, surprisingly cool to the touch, and mortared crudely with hand-formed mud and straw is now home only to ancient memory, legend really, and ever-present in-dwelling spirits of those Ancient Ones long dead—but not forgotten. —Bill Fischer