Silence is Golden, Except When It’s a Blank Page
For those of us who haven’t reached a level of success with our writing to be able to set aside the “day” jobs, life can often get in the way of doing something we love. Crafting stories and spinning yarns is something I’ve grown to love, but I’ve had to set it aside for the past couple of months to focus on a new task which also involves something I enjoy greatly. That is working with kids. I’ve stepped in to become the local coordinator for a firm who offers after-school tutoring to low income and disadvantaged youth. It’s been an eye opening experience as well as a mountainous amount of work, but the service we’re providing to these kids is much needed and I’m grateful to be part of it.
I’ve always been fascinated with the brain and how thoughts are processed — what factors determine if an experience is worthy of lasting memory. I have memories dating back to the time I was only two, but I know many people who can’t recall anything significant in their lives until they are four or five. Why the differences? Our brains are all made up of the same materials, so why are they dissimilar in how they work?
Yesterday, in between making sure busses were at the right schools and instructing one of our tutors how to administer a pretest to determine where the students are at academically, I spent a few minutes with a little girl who is taking the first steps toward becoming a reader. We played with some word and picture magnets, matching up the written word with the correct drawing, before we sat down and read a worksheet about a black and white dog named Spot. You may have heard of him.
Watching her small eyes light up as we sounded out unfamiliar words together brought joy to my soul. Seeds of comprehension planted, needing only the water and sunshine of practice to grow, I cherished those few minutes and wondered whether this young lady’s mind might decide to attach an extra significance to the experience as mine had.
I suppose it’s only arrogance on my part to think that reading a handful of short sentences about Spot the dog would constitute a defining moment in the life of a first grader, but my real point is: we never know when something we do or say will become significant to someone else. I think we’ve all experienced things and made lasting memories from events that other participants in those events don’t even recall. Take care in how you treat and interact with other people. You might be creating a lasting memory for someone else and you don’t want it to be a bad one.
My silence is broken. All hail the ink filled page! Tune in next week for a sneak peek at Abandon Hope, the sequel to Knot in Time!