#WhyIWrite: On Paper Boats and Invisible Bridges

Paper Boat CC license by Anders Illum via Flickr

Paper Boat CC license by Anders Illum via Flickr

I write because my thoughts are swirling storms that wreck my mind. They refuse to stand in order for roll call and attendance. So I write to calm the storm, to capture thoughts and direct them into rows.

I write to create meaning.

I write to avoid hypocrisy. Each day, I ask students to string their words together and push them out in fragile paper boats. Convincing my students that their story is worth sharing means that my story is valuable as well. I have to live up to my own expectations.

I write to be brave.

I write break from perceived urgencies that crowd my day. The daily grind narrows my vision, and I lose sight of where I’m headed and where I’ve been. Pebbles on the path are sharp and in focus while the way ahead is obscured. Writing brings me back to the dream-catcher in my window and expands my vision beyond the fog.

I write to dream.

I write because it connects me to others. Words create invisible bridges that span neighborhoods and cross countries. Ideas that feel heavy to say often pour lightly onto the page. Writing makes three time zones and four thousand miles disappear in seconds.

I write to spread love.

Sometimes I write for the muse who fleetingly lands on my shoulder. When she disappears, I write to lure her back again. Sometimes I write because the words are flowing in my blood, just waiting to bleed onto a page.

I write because I need to.

Tonight I write to celebrate the act itself. Tonight, I write an invitation to you. Face the storms inside and revisit your dreams. Build your own invisible bridges that span oceans. Bravely form a paper boat and watch its journey with delight.

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