#SOL20 Day 20 “No More”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

When I read this prompt today I couldn’t help but think about my current life. There is nothing in my younger days (beyond grieving loved ones) that commanded my attention to Natalie’s prompt than my current life.


When you think about “no more”, what immediately comes to your mind? What losses have you or are you experiencing? Does this increase your gratitude or your stress?         Is “no longer” forever or temporary?

23 thoughts on “#SOL20 Day 20 “No More”

  1. Lots of no longers to process Paula. These are strange times and I for one am grateful for this community of writers to support me! Thank you for sharing

    1. I am so grateful for this community, too, Christine. I do have many blessings that didn’t fit with the prompt, but still exist. Thank you for being part of my circle!

  2. This prompt sparks a lot of thinking and emotion for me. With a recent personal issue that I’ve gone through and the situation currently happening now there is a lot that I feel has been lost. I also definitely feel that loss of “confidence in the basic boring way of life.” This post also makes me think about whether the loss is temporary or forever, it requires adjustment and change on some level and we know how hard change is.

  3. “We no longer have much of the lives we had in February”… truth right there. Coming to the end of 7 weeks of campus closure and distance learning both as an educator and a mother its been a long few weeks…there is a feeling life will get back to normal at some point but might not be quite the same again. Hang in there x

  4. Paula, thanks for your thoughts. We have been closed for almost four weeks now, and there are so many “no longers.” Like you hope they are temporary, so do I. It’s good we don’t have the full story yet, or it may be more difficult to navigate through the days. All the best to you.

  5. What a prompt to come up today! All the things we took for granted. All the things we assumed. Hang in there!

  6. Wow! I am not sure I could address this prompt right now without a lot of tears. You have brought home all the thoughts that swirl in my head each day and continue to haunt me. I no longer have a packed calendar to keep me moving forward. This community has helped me get started each morning. I usually am up at 5:30 a.m. but have been starting almost an hour later these days. I think I am going to get up earlier, write, then go for a walk with the dogs. I want to change one of “I no longer….” back to “I am once again….”

    1. I’m with you, Lynne. I am hoping those “I no longer…” will be “I am once again…” soon. I’ve been getting up about an hour later than usual, but I’m also waking up in the middle of the night with a racing mind! Seems like when I am busy, my mind isn’t so much..When I have time, my mind gets racing! Interesting!

  7. WOW! What a prompt for today! I think it might be good for me to think about this one a bit. I want to thank you for reminding me of this book. I had forgotten about it and there it was among my e-books. I love how little prompts can bring deep thoughts and powerful writing.

  8. It’s sad and unsettling, the grief of the big things (like graduations–looks like my son’s too) we’ll miss, and the inconvenience of the little things (like crackers to crunch). But the hit to our confidence that the sun would rise and the world would work a certain way is the most difficult. Hang in there.

  9. Your post gives me much to ponder, Paula. Throughout this whole ordeal, I have been wondering if things will ever return to the normal that we knew a short while ago. After 9-1-1, we lost our collective innocence about our safety and had our realities permanently altered. I think we will have a similar experience here. We will no longer feel sheltered from pandemic situations and will see our reality from a different lens. Your words always spark a lot of critical thinking, Paula. Thank you.

    1. I compare these days to post 9-11 a lot. An innocence, an expectation of safety was taken away in an instant. Wondering how we will be changed forever by this.

  10. Oh man I started crying about 3 lines in. So many things we don’t have and no idea of when we’ll have them back again. I keep thinking about my kids who don’t really understand what’s happening. 😢

  11. I just love your sharings, Paula. They always spark insights and ideas for me. Since I’m retired there are not as many dramatic changes in my life right now, but for at least the first year after my retirement, I mourned the loss of what I no longer had. Stay well, stay positive!

  12. What a powerful prompt! Are you following them in any order of just letting the book fall open where it may. I’m sharing your blog with a memoir writing group that I’m facilitating at our church. It’s amazing to see what comes from these simple prompts.
    I have to cling to the idea that our no longers are temporary, perhaps longer than we’d like, but I do hope for a someday return to life as we once knew it.

    1. At first I was trying to go in order, but I quickly realized I couldn’t share some of these prompts with the public (too painful, personal, or private). So now I am taking a more random approach, I open randomly to a page and read through choosing the prompts that would be printable for a slice. It has been fascinating to see what tumbles out of my mind-we have so many, many possible entry points to each prompt. I’d love to hear how it goes at your church!

  13. Thanks for sharing such a powerful slice! Who would have thought a while back that we would long to return to ‘boring normalcy’ and everyday routines! It’s amazing and you have prompted so many thoughts and speculations with your slices. Only time will tell what all of this will bring but let’s hope there’ll be some positive outcomes.

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