Monday, April 28, 2008

This Is A Healing Thing



At the end of the semester, I typically read an essay or story of mine to classes in order to make myself vulnerable in the way that they've been doing all semester. I work it in with their presentations (five minutes of reading their own writing). They mostly hate reading their own stuff, love listening to others. Even though I have been in front of them all semester, I feel oddly nervous when I get up to read. Because, as I tell them, it never gets easier. It's always scary as hell to say, Here I am! Love me, hate me, whatthefuckever. Nightmare, in fact. Last week, I read "The Ceiling Or the Floor," the completed version of the rape essay I have been working on through various blog entries for the past year. You don't get much more vulnerable than that which is why it works if it works. Like the Wallendas said, There's only the tight-rope. The rest of life is waiting.

I don't know how much longer I'll be a teacher, but I got my very best teaching compliment today, something along the lines that I had given a woman the courage to read an essay an extremely traumatic experience that happened to her over fifteen years ago. "I could never talk about it. But this is a healing thing. I figured if you could read what you read, I could." She even brought her own kleenex. Someone once told me that to read for one person is an honor. I couldn't agree more, especially when the one person is listening so closely and willing to be so brave. I once had someone tell me that I didn't have to live the way I did, but I can't think of any other way and most of the time, I am glad for it.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"He sees the cities fuck and fight/ And all of this was made for you and me."Iggy Pop

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: Madness Marya Hornbacher

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

5 comments:

the walking man said...

"No One is Innocent" The Sex Pistols. 'Rock and Roll Swindle'

YES! Reading it to an audience is cathartic and healing. Them that know personally of the pain being released will offer the support and help to return functionability.

But then what do I know, as you know, when it comes to public display, I am happily naked and ready to jump at a microphone. ha ha ha I have no shame at the potholes of my path. Pure pork I am, Ham on a stick ready at moments notice to run to the call of talking.

Everyone tells I am a very good speaker, but a piss poor listener. Eyup it is true, I am working on it, albeit not hard. ha ha ha

Semester winding down or wound off another one under your belt, leaving teaching, a better person goes out than the one who walked through those MCC doors many years ago.

As you have bettered peoples understanding of what it is to write, why and, how to do it, now the good of it comes back to you. Such is the return for collecting positive Karm no?

Walk your path in peace Princess Dufus. It is good.

Peace

mark

Cheri said...

Whatever you end up doing you'll do it well.

Lord knows you've inspired many, many people, knowledge I've heard from conversations of people who've taken your classes. What an amazing thing to possess.

Brian in Mpls said...

What would you like to do? I bet you are a great teacher.

Knights who say Ni! said...

Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni!

Charles Gramlich said...

I usually read something of mine before writing classes as well. Though nothing that makes me so vulnerable as you do.