The question came during magic time, the final question and answer session after the assembly. Good question! Sometimes I can find the words and other times they tumble around in my head and refuse to commit themselves to paper. Other times the words seem to have sleeping sickness and are too lazy to even attempt to kick it around on the page. Which is kind of where I have been lately. The best cure I can think of for not writing is to write — which I did — right along with the students at Black River elementary and middle schools this week.
The second day I was there another student asked if I had ever written a poem about bullies. I told him that, funny you should ask, but in fact I was working on one right here — and held up a piece of paper with words jumping and skidding all over it. What inspired me to write? Joining a writing community and that simple directive, “we’ll just write now for about 5 minutes. I invariably stretch this five minute promise to at least 10 — just enough time for all of us to get something down on paper.
As we head into the weekend and beyond, as this week starts to puddle into last and the week before, as the sharp edges of our memories begin to fade — none of us will go forward empty handed. Thanks to Principal Tammy Starkey — it was great working with you again — and thanks to the kids in Black River for welcoming me into their writing community.