Friday, February 12, 2010
The story that needed to be told.
I've just returned from a pro-d session with Carl Leggo, professor of English and Literature Education at UBC. Leggo encourages educators to be ARTographers - to embrace our layered roles as Artists (to create), Researchers (to search and search again) and Teacher. After all, the "story is the mother of us all." It is story that connects the "I" to the "you." It is story that makes meaning of life out of a a series of isolated events. It is story that makes us human and vulnerable and connected. Telling a story is an invitation to another to share theirs. We all have stories that are worth telling.
Leggo introduced the participants to "wildmining," - a strategy that encourages writers to stop thinking about and judging their own writing and let the words and the story become. The prompt was to tell a story about bread; I thought I had a story to tell but it was not the story that became. Here is the story that needed to be told; written in five minutes and without edit.
The crust bursting and crackling - sharp shards splinter in my eye. Steam wafting like some second rate ghost, hovering and dissipating but sensual and seductive. I want her. Want to sink my teeth into her like a lover and feel her pale soft flesh in the moistness of my mouth - to waver between her coying voluptuousness and the sharp prick of her lusty crust.
This summer, I set out to capture her or, if not, one of her sisters, but was beatened down by self-doubt. Could I have her? Could I fashion her form - from frail and loose powder into a dome, golden and snapping?
I captured the yeast from the air and sealed it into a mason jar, feeding and nursing it, never sure if I was breeding a colony of yeast or hissing bacteria. After ten days of tending to my aloof patient, I took the plunge, dipping the metal measuring cup into the sticky, clinging liquid that drapped and drooled on the sides of the bowl.
I'm going to go eat my story.