Saturday, July 28, 2007

Visit From a Teenager

I had a visit with a fascinating teenager today. Also an equally fascinating young 20-something. Intelligent, articulate, ponderous...

Ok, they were both me.

Seems I have always been serious about this writing stuff. I have a "writing crate" which contains choice pieces of writing I did during the era of my life between the beginning of high school and my journey to Japan, a span of about 13 years.

As I read over stuff I'd written I reminded myself of a child who has so much to say that at first he stammers for the words and struggles to communicate because there is so much vying for first chance to get out. More than one English teacher told me not to try so hard to be "impressive". I would get out my dictionary and come up with these weighty phrases. One story I wrote in 9th or 10th grade used the phrase "ritualistically to pay obeisance". My teachers weren't impressed with the flowery stuff. But I needed to get it out of my system. In a way, I think the fact that I was required to write journals and other "whatever you want it to be" stuff in high school saved my sanity. I recall that friends were jealous over how our English teacher took to writing comments back to me in my journal. It really became like a conversation. That probably saved my sanity, too. Someone was listening.

And all this post-school stuff longed for readers, too. To my knowledge, no one has ever read a word of it, except myself. I think today I almost qualified as a "someone else" audience. After all, most of what I read was written 15-20 years ago. I certainly have been a different person at least once or twice along the way.

I'm sure I would have had a blog if they had existed back in 1986. I had half a thought to post a few interesting pieces just as a way of applauding the 17 or 19 or 22 year old I once was.


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