Yesterday, at twilight, I spent time with twenty high school students in a creative writing club. We gathered in a small classroom, desk to desk in a circle, and wrote about Thanksgiving, families, spices, and herbs.
These were students of all different backgrounds: class, race, gender, age. In a perfect world they all get along. Now, since I don’t teach there, I don’t know what their interactions are like on a typical day. However, in the twilight hour, I witnessed a perfect world.
All twenty students read their work with pride. All twenty students offered affirming feedback to what they heard. They wrote. They read. They listened with open hearts. While this may all sound cheesy- it was incredibly warming.
Some lines that stayed with me from their writing:
“Oregano is my mom.”
“I am hungry for what can not be cut up and put on a plate.”
“I am smooth as a moon’s crescent.”
“The virus- is humanity.”
“You bring out the black in me…. The I-have-no-choice-but-to-go-through-puberty-in-me.”
“A bittersweet smell, the memory of… the uncle who pinched my cheeks, while the other uncles abused my face.”
In the spring, 916 Ink will be working with these youth to hone their craft and revise a piece of their writing for publication. I can’t wait to buy their book and hear them read at a huge gala in June 2012.
I was very proud of these young adults yesterday. They truly embodied the quote: “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ~William Wordsworth