In the essay “Grown Men” by Barry Lopez, he recounts his memories of influential men in his life. About them he notes,
“I was, of course, very fond of them, as young men are fond of their grandfathers by blood or not; I realized just before they died that there was something of transcendent value in them, fragile and as difficult to extract as the color of a peach.”
The way he struggles to pinpoint the influence these men had on him, “as difficult to extract as the color of a peach” is one of my most favorite lines. To me, it captures perfectly his inability to express how important these men were.
Think of a person who has/had value in your life and DESCRIBE this person. Be descriptive in your telling: how he/she looks, sounds, feels, acts, talks, etc.
1. Go through the writing process: brainstorming, free writing.
2. Then construct a paragraph or more. Start basic, add layers, watch it grow.
3. Then, each day, go back and make it BEAUTIFUL. Replace bland and boring words with descriptive words.
4. Find the perfect simile or metaphor.
Before long, you will have a beautiful tribute to a valued person in your life.