Some things, I find, are too precious to be shared. Like a priceless jewel, they are best kept secreted away; handled and admired in private.
A vivid memory surfaces. September: first week of school. The teacher’s voice, like chalk streaking across a blackboard, screeching the assignment, Write an essay titled, My Summer Vacation.
I picture myself staple-gunned to the board. My whole self, exposed.
Ignoring the homework was not an option. Okay, it was, but the consequence was an ‘F.’ Not a good way to start the school year. So I used my imagination and wrote about a make-believe trip. In other words…I lied. Shhhh!
My summer vacation included friendships, family outings, shared moments and experiences; some too happy, or too sad to put into words. But it was mostly about all of the places I went within myself that made me grow and go back to school just a little bit older and wiser.
I cannot express how I felt sitting out on the fire-escape staring up at the night sky and dreaming of worlds beyond the stars, in spite of the car horns and fire engines whizzing by. Sometimes my elder brother would join me and point out various constellations; he knew all of their names. Or he’d tell me tales from Greek mythology, like The Wings of Icarus. I knew there was a lesson in that one; follow your parent’s advice.
And why would I want to tell anyone what it was like to go to the Hayden Planetarium with my brother, or share a secret and a hero sandwich with a new friend, or quietly walk shoulder to shoulder with my best friend while eating a Mister Softy ice-cream cone?
Reveal my treasures in an essay?
To a stranger?
For a grade?
I don’t think so!
Which brings me back to the topic of writing, or not. That is the question; though the fact that I ask it seems to provide the answer, “Not.”
I am most content when writing just for myself, or for a small circle of intimate friends. The coffee, sweets, and conversations we share last a life-time and deepen our relationships.
That is the reader and the audience I cherish most.
See you next time on October 22nd.
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