In the seventh grade we had a hip teacher just out of college named Mrs. Stare. The first day of school she wrote on the blackboard:
F ** K YOU
She stood in front of us in 1974 and said, “if this shocks or offends you – you have no chance to survive what is coming your way in your lifetimes.”
I watched our new teacher, thinking how for being named Ms. Stare she sure blinked a lot. I liked how confident and comfortable she was with words.
She taught us the glory of words and I will never forget her for that. Ms. Stare brought out the best in us when it came to writing that year.
She eventually tricked us into taking our words off paper and speaking them, never telling us we were learning public speaking. She allowed great flexibility and improvisational creativity grew as we began to eagerly tell our stories in front of one another, not just write them.
We spun our greatest story telling adventures at the end of the year. There were so many stories told – I chose to tell – from the whale’s perspective – how he knew his destiny was to seal Captain Ahab’s fate and destroy the fishing fleet, leaving only Ishmael.
In my opinion there is no more evidence of words and their affect on people than when hearing from someone who just finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I wish I had written it.
I always thought to “write” meant to put together a story – a long one like Moby Dick or Edgar and that always seemed pretty overwhelming. Though how cool – to gather many, many words and weave a tale, have a plot or final meaning and light up another world that anyone could go live in for a while.
When the clock suddenly comes up short it’s time to write the stories of the here and now. Please don’t feel as if you have to subscribe to this blog. Some of these words will be very difficult.
Thank you so much, Susie, for putting this blog together for me. I am so grateful you are here with me and for the twenty-plus years we’ve been dear friends – “mocking, mocking, mocking, mocking…” 🙂
Welcome to These Words.