Monday, March 14, 2011

Seek & Sacrifice

Each quarter, I give my students a big question to think about as we read, write, and learn together.  This quarter's question was this:  What will I seek and what will I sacrifice?  On Wednesday, they will be writing in response to this question in class and they will need to include how our readings from the year have contributed to their thinking. For my Slice today, I want to begin my own response to this question.

I seek wholeness.  In my family, in my work, in myself.  I want all of the empty spaces to be filled.  Writing helps me with this.  Like the protagonist in Ellison's Invisible Man, typing his invisibility onto the page, art allows me to leave a piece of myself on the paper.  And when I do this, when I leave my flesh and fluids there in ink on the sheet, it is as if my body redoubles its efforts and not only regenerates the part of myself I let go, but actually takes up even more space within me than it did before.  I seek this growth.  I want to feel my cells multiplying.For this, I must sacrifice my comfort and my privacy.  I must be willing to be transparent -- to be my same self regardless of situation or circumstance. I need not fear light; instead, I should welcome it. I imagine Ellison's protagonist with those 1369 lightbulbs illuminating every square inch of him.  Or Tess standing with strength in her white nightgown baptizing her dying child by candlelight.  I must sacrifice anonymity.  To become whole, I must come out of hiding, let the light reveal my imperfections and leave my mark.

5 comments:

Kim said...

Wow. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you for your inspiring words his morning.

Kim said...

(I meant "this morning!") :)

Ruth said...

I am intrigued by your focus around a big question for each quarter. What a wonderful way to help kids think more deeply and connect texts, writing, and other learning.
Thanks for sharing this!

Magical Ms. M said...

Stephanie,
You words slice through the heart of it. You words are honest and beautiful. This line slays me, "when I leave my flesh and fluids there in ink on the sheet, it is as if my body redoubles its efforts and not only regenerates the part of myself I let go, but actually takes up even more space within me than it did before." This shakes my soul and reminds me why I write. Thank you. Every sentence is packed with meaning. I want to read it, and read it again and again.

Thank you for coming out of hiding and sacrificing your anonymity,
Erin

Stephanie said...

Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments. I appreciate each of you for taking the moment to respond. This community of writers has added such lift to my spirits!