The other day I was going through my computer files and I came across a letter I had written to my daughter, away at college. It was a wonderful discovery. The letter immediately brought the time and place and emotions back to me.
Through the years I have saved bits and pieces of my own writing. I have a stash of writings from other people, too, that I would like to pass on to my daughters – a hand written letter from my Dad to my Mom, on his way home to the U.S. from the Philippines on a transport ship after World War II; a letter from my Mother to my girls about some corn seeds they had pressed into the soil at her back door & the corn stalks that were now towering above her windows (along with photo proof); emails from my girls away at college. My writings and those of my family do not compare in magnitude with those who are famous among us, but they help to preserve a history of the times we have shared.
Our world is so much richer because people have taken the time to write about their life experiences. Books like “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls, “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt, “Night” by Elie Wiesel are just a few examples.
During April’s National Poetry Month, Washington County Library is putting its programming emphasis on writing – to encourage residenst to use their words to write stories and poems and more. Kids can attend a “Write a Silly Story” workshop presented by The Loft Literary Center. Workshop presenters will encourage participants to think about the things they know – family and friends and school and games and toys and vacations – and use them to make up a silly story. A Loft writing workshop for teens, “Read to Write,” encourages young people to discover that reading itself spurs people’s thoughts, gives them ideas for their own writing. And adults are not left out of the programming. Two workshops for adults, also presented by The Loft, will inspire those who would write. To find out more about these workshops, consult the Library’s events calendar, and enter the keyword “write.” Perhaps someone among us will write the next great poem, or short story, or memoir.
Do save your words – or at least some of them — and those of others who are important to you! An assemblage of words that express thoughts and tell about life experiences may not be important to the world at large, but they may provide a valuable history for your family.
Library Woman is Joey Halbach, Community Relations Librarian for Washington County Library. Contact her at: email@example.com