Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The End of the Summer Institute

Robert Frost, Poet

We've come to the end of the Plymouth Writing Project Five-Week Summer Institute.  It was a brilliant experience.  We arrive as individual teachers and leave as a collaborative force.  We've laughed and cried, listened hard and worked even harder.  We have written thousands of words, hundreds of stories.

We've shared our teaching, our research, our thoughts and our teacher hearts.  I wrote: 

 There is a myth of the isolated writer, locked into himself/herself, door closed where he/she fights dragons and demons, alone.

But the experiences I am having in the writing project have exploded the myth -- blown a hole smack through the wall that separates writer from writer, artists from artists, the writer-me from myself.

The Writing Marathon at Dartmouth College was so much fun and so deep and so, so collaborative.   I loved the writing task:  Find a sculpture.  Observe closely.  Ask yourself questions.  Write and share.  I love the rituals.  Introduce yourself and say, "I am a writer."

At the end of the reading, your companions say, "Thank you."  No comments.  No critique.  Just simple gratitude:  "Thank you for sharing your world with us".

Outside the Rounds Building where our classes are held, there is a bronze sculpture of the poet Robert Frost to honor his teaching time at Plymouth State University and his legacy of words, images and New England thinking.  I remember watching him read his poem for John F. Kennedy's Inauguration as President of the United States, January 1961.

It was very cold that day.  The sun was so bright, Frost found it hard to read from his paper.  I was fourteen years old, witnessing the giants of history on a black and white television screen. 

I remind Frost of this whenever I pass him at his bench.

No comments: