This was a popular prompt in our Mornings with Moms writing group a few months ago. I borrowed it from Beth Kephart’s Handling the Truth.
"Now close your eyes and find within yourself a landscape from long ago. Put this down, too, best as you can. Don’t pretend to see what you cannot. Don’t airbursh this exercise for the sake of faux completeness. Just put down what your memory gives you, as fragile or flimsy as that seems.
Then ask yourself questions like these: Why this landscape? Why its incompleteness? Why have you focused on the upright shafts and not on all of that which blunders horizontal? Why don’t the colors come back, or if they do, why are they so loud and self-insistent? To what part of yourself, or your story, does this landscape return you?
And what do you know now that you couldn’t have known then?