Self Reflection

June 14, 2014.  Prompt #45


All photos by Lori

Recently, my good friend Lori visited Chicago’s famous “Cloud Gate” sculpture,  affectionately known as “The Bean” by locals. Designed by Anish Kapoor, this bulging, looming, delightful public artwork reflects on levels. Its mirror finish reflects the buildings, plaza, and sky around it. It reflects the crowds of people looking at it. In turn, its viewers reflect upon it and upon themselves.


Prompt #1:  Finding Yourself in A Crowd.

  1. With Cloud Gate’s curves, its reflections distort the crowd gazing upon it. This makes it a (fun) challenge to find yourself and your friends in the giant mirror. Lori wrote, ” I found myself not where I expected to be.”
  2. Write about a character’s sense (or your own sense) of  a) being lost in a crowd, b) being buoyed up by a crowd or c) being changed by a crowd. Be as literal or symbolic as you wish.  Write for 10 minutes.


Prompt #2:  Mirror Image

  1. A mirror, of course, shows us the reverse of ourselves. Add in the bends and bulges of Cloud Gate and its not surprising that you might find yourself reflecting, as Lori did, on identity. Who is this altered, amended, distorted, or perhaps, freed you?
  2. Write an mini-autobiography of yourself with a few changes regarding your history, appearance, temperament, beliefs, or life experiences. Write for 10 minutes.
  3. Circle a phrase or sentence that stands out for you. Write it on the top of a fresh peice of paper and write for 15 more minutes.



Prompt #3: Reflect Upon Self

  1. With writing group friends or alone, find a place (such as reflective street-level windows or dressing room mirrors) where you can stand among others, either strangers or friends.
  2. A few questions to consider:
    • What makes you unique?
    • What connects you to others?
    • How does your body define you?
    • How do you define your body?
    • Who are you without your body?
    • What is self?
    • What is Self?

    Write for 15 minutes.