Day Fifteen of Writing 101 requires us to
“think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.”
Many hours were spent cogitating, contemplating, considering.
To little avail.
When pressed to name something that I particularly like, or identify a favourite, my mind freezes.
My hometown. Yes, I have a hometown, the place where I was born. But, not a place I regard as “home”. That place lies within. Not outside.
And music festivals? Yeah. Done that. Maybe even have a tee shirt. But, life changing? Nope.
Conferences that shifted my world view? Right. Been to a lot of conferences, find it hard to shift in my sleep during the sessions, but world view shifted? Nope.
Oh, and, as always, the task had a “twist”
“While writing this post, focus again on your own voice. Pay attention to your word choice, tone, and rhythm. Read each sentence aloud multiple times, making edits as you read through. Before you hit “Publish,” read your entire piece out loud to ensure it sounds like you.”
Ok. Now we’re talking. I do like the sound of my own voice. At least, that’s what they say. And that’s good, right? Right? Ah.
I thought a bit more and then it came to me.
I remembered the day I realised that my life as a student was over.
And, yes I mean the studying part.
Not the other.
The mistaken assumption that on leaving University, I would leave behind forever the world of learning.
That’s what I am writing about.
Walking along a pavement in London. Thinking, no more Schrödinger’s cat, no more complex organic compounds, no more contemplating the infinite.
No more questioning the why, what, how, when, where and if.
No. I realised that I had traded that life of learning for a living.
Instead of reading to discover, I would read to earn money.
Yes, they had taken my soul.
An evil corporate force, well actually several different evil corporate forces, would now determine my direction.
No more worrying about the fifth dimension, the forces that bind the universe, the philosophical questions about who we are. And why.
No, now, balance sheets and books of account, files and fiches, debits and credits. A trial balancing account. A life where learning would end.
So. Yes, at that moment my heart and soul went cold.
So. Yes, I was wrong.
The learning and lessons had only begun, the real class about to start.
The class of life.
People, relationships, love, loss. And all the bits in between.
The event I feared. The end of learning. It never happened.
Instead, it blossomed and grew.
And, not just in me. In the faces of those who followed. Upturned eyes, hands reaching out, those searching questions again from younger minds. And the total trust that I would know the answer.
So, next time. When someone asks why.
Think hard, before replying.
As today’s Writing 101 prompt involves the use of “voice”, I decided to accompany my writing with a recording of today’s response.
(for wordpress writing 101 – day fifteen)