We have our momentary influences. Momentary inspirations. Often, combinations of seemingly unrelated inputs, joined at once, produce… well, produce something.
Our writing class prompt from a fellow student was the following:
I am inspired by This I Believe, https://thisibelieve.org/There are lots of examples of topics to choose from.
For our writing exercise, I suggest 250 words, which is the word limit for a letter to The Olympian.
Your writing can be fanciful, satirical,absurd, and/or satirical (like Jonathon Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”, where one solution to the challenge of poverty would be to eat the children of the poor. (!) Or it could be serious. Though come to think of it, Swift was making a serious point, and now I’m even more intrigued by his approach. In my case, I want to plumb my feelings/confusions/questions that are surfacing about the reality of racism. (Maybe I’ll take a Swift approach? I doubt I’d have the focus, skill, and courage to do that but that is a possibility out there for the taking.)
Anything is fair game!And thanks for being so game!
Well, that was a broad choice of topics and styles. Then, another student suggested, just because I think he liked it, that we listen to this unexpected amalgam performance:
As I considered a topic upon which to write, I found that it was “Safe Harbor Day” in the USA. An arcane bit of presidential electoral college mumbo jumbo that never has really mattered before, but apparently is yet another ignore-at-your-peril step toward realizing a de-Trumpifed inevitability. A step that I will choose to embrace – against all good sense – as a turning point toward better days.
COVID is killing more than ever. A high percentage of my fellow citizens are either crazy, hungry, angry, or all three. But perhaps, just perhaps, we can slow down, if you are as fortunate as I, and grab hold of a little hope with a little poetry.
“Letter to the Editor”
It’s all over.
It really is.
All over but the screaming
All over but the tears.
All over but the tears. And the tears.
Now … let’s let those tears heal those tears.
Turn to beauty.
To the Bachs. JS, Johann Christian, Carl Phillip Emanuel. All of them.
To Paul Simon’s “American Tune.”
To Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Van Gogh.
Let’s turn to truth.
To Keats and Whitman
Newton and Lavoisier.
Let’s spend our time in the company of those
And whose goodness
We can bathe.
Let’s begin again.
 First tears is pronounced “teers” and second “tares.”