Friday, November 03, 2006
What I've Learned
My class at good ole Faulkner has been nothing short of great. I love teaching and I'm happy to be paid for it but, the students are the greatest aspect of the class.
They aren't the best writers in the world. But, they have an ability to express themselves that intrigues and even impresses me. There's an importance to what they have to say. As a writer, I have never appreciated that as much as I do now. When you write, you're consumed with your own characters, craft, and creativity. No one else's art seems to matter as much as yours. After all, you're making up a whole world and following in the great steps of the literary fathers.
But, none of that matters as much as the heart and soul of the person who tells you about her losses or the end of his life as he knows it. So, in some ways, writing is a great equalizer. It reaches into the parts of us that we didn't look for before. Some will tell THE story and some won't. But, we'll all find something good and maybe even great.
I think what makes this writing different and wonderful to me is the fact that these people are not writers. They don't care to be writers. But, they yearn to be understood; to express in some way who they are. The result is a colorful mixture of words and phrases that delve into a world rarely witnessed by the uber-literate. The words say something true and unmuddled. They speak in kind, warm declarations. And somehow, in flattening themselves, these people make themselves rounder. I'm privileged and blessed to have seen the contents of humanity, clearly printed on the page. It's something I'll never forget.