Monday, March 15, 2010

Before There Were Blogs

Note: I am entering Mabel’s Labels BlogHer ‘10 Contest with the following post based on the hypothetical situation that...electrical storms are going to wipe out the Internet (perhaps forever). You have one day left to write about your passions: what do you want to say to the blogosphere in 300 words or less?

Once upon a time, before there were blogs, there were young writers composing stories, poems, and essays in a high school creative writing class. Quiet poets gained volume in verse; classroom characters practiced defining themselves in fiction.

Their teacher, moved by her students’ unique perspectives and vibrant voices, asked them to reflect on “How to Live.” And so they wrote: about stargazing, about deep breaths, about sweat and tears, about adventures, about love.

She pushed them to be brave with their powerful words, to open their ideas to others, to publish, to expose their works to scrutiny. “Take your words to the streets,” she assigned them, “and chronicle the reactions.” One student read her writing aloud in a park. Another writer left his inspirational lines in chalk on the sidewalk. A poet taped her verses to a bus stop bench.

On Monday morning the creative writing teacher received a phone call from a woman living in the community. She had gone out for a walk on Sunday morning. She explained to the teacher that her husband had recently died; she described her emptiness and an overwhelming sense that things were never going to be better. She confessed to being in a dark place, thinking dark thoughts.

Then she sat down for a spell at a bus stop bench and noticed a poem taped to the seat. The poem entreated her to look up. To feel grateful. To discover the beauty all around her. To hope.

Her spirits lifted, the woman wanted the poet to know that her lines had a profound impact on someone.

In the absence of blogs, this teacher argues, we still have lipstick on mirrors, letters in the mail, signs in windows, and poems in unlikely places. We only need the courage to share.


Anonymous said...

Fer, you get me every time. well done (as usual). I really enjoy reading your postings.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog, Jenny! You inspire me to keep writing. Leslie C.

Stacey @ Tree, Root, and Twig said...

Love this entry, love that you're a finalist. Here's to more lipstick on mirrors. :)

Anonymous said...

This is really, really beautiful. I can see why you were chosen as a finalist.

Now I think I need to leave some words in some library books, for someone to find. :)