Friday, December 4, 2009

Tapping Talent

I wrote with discouragement a couple of times about the writing class I'm taking at the adult ed division of local community college. All is not despair. Throughout the course, but especially today, I have watched one man find his voice. At introductions he said he had only written dry science-work related stuff but he wanted "to tell stories, true stories." He wrote well about his love of a sailboat, he wrote touchingly of helping his wive deal with neuropathy, he wrote movingly of his work as a hospice volunteer. He is open and honest and straight forward.

Today he wrote of an encounter with a coyote and his search in his neighborhood for the horned owl he heard on summer nights. He even described stalking through the densely settled neighborhood on an August midnight in his underwear, dodging behind bushes when police showed up. He did not see the owl but he learned lessons about himself and about wildlife which he told using poetry as his reference. His work was very beautifully done.

It is a thrill to watch a sensitive person opening his personality, at 67 years old, and finding expression not only of an incident that could happen to anyone such as seeing a coyote cross in your car headlights, but in an active pursuit of an experience, searching for the owl and finding himself something of an outlaw in the staid neighborhood where he lives. He has found this voice simply by coming to a welcoming class. He has had no instruction, no editorial input. He wanted to write and his personality is such that he wants to write truthfully, not hiding behind any reticence or ego need to be a certain kind of person. He is truly a writer. I'm thrilled for him.

1 comment:

Kass said...

The retelling of this is beautiful and touching as I can imagine his story was.