Writing From the Eye of the Storm


Today there is thunder rumbling out of the air. This is a rare occurrence where we live. Northwest Washington is well known for its rain, but not for its thunderstorms. Lightning may be even rarer.

And this is how summer is slowly leaving us: thunderstorms and torrential rain after the hottest and driest summer on record. The Internet is telling us that three Class 4 hurricanes have sprouted up in the Pacific Ocean at the same time (another first) like morning glories unfurling their white collars at sunrise.


I try and stare down into the centers of those storms from the satellite pictures on my smartphone’s screen. Somehow, I feel as if I can fall deep enough into the center of the image, then it will unlock some mystery that I haven’t even thought to form a question to yet. And this is so often like my writing process.

When I being writing, I know that there is something that needs to be said, but it is often vague, uncertain, and shadowy in the recesses of my mind. I squint into the distance to try and better see the words or images. I take breaks and return to particular passages when I seem to get stuck or it all goes blurry. Most of all, I let the writing unfold like those storms on the Pacific. They will open, turn, and drift all on their own if I only make a point to look deeply enough, wait patiently for the next frame to show itself.

I didn’t know what the thunder in the air today had to do with writing. Most days, my best writing comes from knowing very little, but continuing to witness the page fill up word by slow word.


Jory Mickelson



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