Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Questions from the heart

I went to a poetry event at my girl's school yesterday morning. She's in second grade. For there to be a poetry event at my 7-year-old's school makes my heart glad. It was really quite wonderful. The clever and progressive poetry teacher who comes in for the unit once a year was engaging and inspiring. She is doing something important with these kids. With humor.

At one point, she handed out paper and pencils to all the parents in attendance and had us do a writing exercise. She then had us share what we had written. Luckily I didn't get called on. I got a fierce case of writers' block during this elementary exercise, which was really quite a deep felt human exercise when you get down to it.

The assignment? To come up with "questions from the heart" - questions that can't necessarily be answered but that you wonder about nonetheless. Questions that even if they do have possible answers can't be answered by others, as they are your questions from the heart.

Here were some of the parent questions:

When does love become love?
If a rainbow could sing, what song would it sing?
Do chocolate donuts smile when eaten?

I'm not nearly that clever. But after the assembly, and the poetry readings by the kids back in the classrooms, when in my car on the 20-minute drive into work, I could think of nothing else but these questions.  My questions were mostly on the serious side; rainbows and donuts did not pop into my head. Alas, I guess I'm no school girl anymore. I forgot many of my questions even before arriving at the office, but here are a few that I do remember:

why are we so afraid of each other?
when is a lie white?
when is enough enough?
why is the mind so hard to still?
why are tears ridiculed?
why don't we look each other in the eye?
why can't we see the bigger picture?
why do all the forgotten things surface only when you lie down to sleep?
why don't people use their goddamn f-ing blinkers?

What are some of your questions from the heart?


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Spoken like a true Southern Californian:

why don't people use their goddamn f-ing blinkers?

I love this, and I, too, would be loathe to be called upon; my poetry -- or my questions from the heart -- wouldn't be nearly as good as second graders'.

My friend Rachel does a poetry section with her third graders in the spring and I don't think she'd mind my sharing her student Yandel's poem from last year:

Air is like freedom
It's like falling free for all
like skydiving with the
bird and falling.



Jacquie said...

Hmm my questions are all from the brain at current, mostly pragmatic​ champagne queries about booking international travels. My heart has questions too, but I'm shoving them back inside for a minute. There will be plenty of time for that shit later!

Poetry event sounds rad


Pat said...

Love your questions!