Feed Your Soul

This is from Ravenous Butterflies on Facebook. “In 2006 a high school English teacher asked students to write a famous author and ask for advice. Kurt Vonnegut was the only one to respond – and his response is magnificent:

‘Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK? Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash receptacles.

You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.God bless you all!’ Kurt Vonnegut”

Handwriting

“I don’t think I have handwriting any more. I’m entirely helpless without a computer.” Henrietta Rose-Innes, a South African writer.

I don’t handwrite much. It certainly doesn’t flow as it used to. My daughter does some handwriting but I don’t believe it is ever cursive.

I have read that students would be better off handwriting class notes as it is a more effective learning technique than typing on a laptop or tablet. Something gained and something lost.

Life just keeps changing rapidly before our eyes. How intriguing, the ever-altering march of our social history.