She was an awkward girl who never really knew where she fit…untrained with a pen and signed up for a writing class that she knew nothing about. She set her two required pens, blue spiral notebook, and every desk around her had the same white sheet of paper, blank.
There were a few she knew sitting in the circle all of them facing each other what a strange way to set up a classroom, she thought. She looked around the room at the boy with uncombed hair, the girl next to her that smelled as if she came from a dairy farm, and across from her was the girl she dreaded facing…a bully…that liked the boy she did.
The teacher came from around her desk she spoke with a soft deliberate voice…exuding confidence in every step in those supple leather shoes. The girl caught a smile from the teacher, she felt singled out by that smile-the teacher kept speaking. Sharing the details of the class and a syllabus. The girl had never seen this list of writing she was going to do have to do by the end of the quarter. The “syllabus” was on Xerox paper with words and half sentences scattered about the page, and finally a strange graphic in the corner of the page. The girl didn’t even know what it was.
She wondered, sitting there; why pens…no one ever uses pens in any class….as her curiosity whirls around in her head, these words fell from the teacher’s tongue, “there is no erasing in this class.” What a peculiar statement and it made her nervous…her hands began to sweat and tremble. It was finally time to turn that piece of paper over, torn on both ends. She was just as excited as she was nervous. There it was the word “postcard”, stared back at her in blue ink in the most amazing handwriting, handwriting she knew she would love;that day changed everything for her. The way she looked at life, the grey curly hair that carved around the teacher’s face, the calm in her voice, her black and blue ink on my pages, altoid mints that came around the circle, or the smallest piece of chocolate. To just get the taste….to tempt her…a metaphor for the temptation of daring her to put her pen to her page…the pressure to just put the paper and pen together and “just see” what could happened.
Free Writing – Private Writing – Journaling – Prompts…all words on the syllabus.
Words she would come to know well but at the beginning were all unknown. And so, she began writing. She let her pen go, let the words come with the tears. She tried to wipe them away fast enough for no one to notice and without a glance with an airy swoosh of her grey skirt three delicate tissues floated to the top of the wooden desk with a gentle graze across her writing hand…freckled and smooth the teacher’s hand touched hers. In blink of an eye, touched only for a split second- kindness rushed warm into her and to her wrist, to her forearm slowly disapating. She took a deep breath in and watched as the her teacher sat in one fluid movement…like trickling water!
At the buzz of the bell, their eyes met. The girl stepped into the hall she once saw as black and white…with every step the hall began to fill with color.