It’s a good thing to have set up a writing community, especially on a digital platform.
Tonight, as I sat down to write my last Slice of Life post for the month of March, I heard a “ding.” My phone called out to let me know someone has written. Email? Text? No, it was a notice that one of my students had published a piece of writing. I guess technically, this student is no longer my student. He moved away back in December and returned to Argentina. It had only been a few weeks of learning to blog, during those small chunks of time available for it in the classroom. It didn’t seem to be enough time, but I guess it was.
For the past four months, this student has been writing to us from Argentina. He writes about his adventures, his frustrations, the good stuff, and the not so good stuff. The best part of his writing is that he always seems to end on a positive note, no matter the story. What a wonderful way to look at the world.
When he writes, he often reminds the class that he misses them. They miss him too. Together, they share what they like about their writing and it’s like he’s back in our classroom. He is not. And now, neither are his old classmates. The rest of the class had just a few more weeks of school. Now that they are all home, they are all missing each other. All of them.
The writing they now do has a raw feel to it, like it something they all must do. It's like they are now fighting for it.
Tenacious. Tenacious is the word I would use to describe my Argentinian student. Tonight, he published, “Things that you didn’t know about me.” As he writes about the unique qualities that make him who he is, his words challenge others―daring others to write deeper and stronger, from somewhere deep inside. It’s what happens in a writing community.
As I write this now, he has shared two more pieces of writing. There is something special about the way he writes. He blows in and out of languages like it holds little power over his ability to share a story. He doesn’t care if he conjugates well or not, and spelling, well, he does what he knows and trucks on. The heart and meaning in his stories tend to punch you in the gut as you read. Powerful. Colorful and filled with life. It’s beautiful. His writing flows like a waterfall. There’s no stopping it from coming.
He is brave when he writes. His bravery inspires his old writing community to write. Our community writes now more than before. They write from their own spaces, from their own little corners of the world, and from the heart. Then, they meet in one place. Our tiny digital writing community.
“Did you know…?” he writes. We didn’t know, so he tells us. There is so much we need to know and so, they write. Not all of them, but most of them. They write as if it’s all they have, at least it seems that way. It doesn’t matter if they are far or near, the writing seems to bring us close again. It connects us. It connects us from as far as Argentina to our now sheltered town in Texas. And what a perfect time for us all to come together.
Tonight, I am grateful to writing.