Saturday, May 03, 2008

Why Do I Write?

I've sometimes wondered why I write when I could take the easy route and stifle my creativity as so many people do. Since the advent of blogging and online magazines, artists, political pundits, and those with an axe to grind connect and commiserate online. I had initial reservations about creating a blog, and didn't know if I'd be able or wanted to maintain a regular online presence. Who would want to read what I have to say about anything? Are there others out there who feel the same as I do?

I didn't dream of a writing career as a child as others do and have. I thought I'd be a (famous) actor on Broadway, film, and television. And then I met Dr. D. Joeris, my high school junior English teacher. She was a throwback to English teachers of yore, chignon bun, large eyeglasses, and snazzy matching business suit. Prior to her class, my attempt at keeping a journal was limited to a locked diary I hid in a dresser drawer.

In Dr. Joeris's magnet school English class in Houston's tony River Oaks neighborhood, I learned to trust myself on the page, traveling to distant lands, and commuting with things natural and otherwise. She'd post a journal prompt in her perfect teacher cursive on the board, and we'd have to write a few pages. One such entry posited: If you could travel with E.T. outer space, where would you go, and what would you do? I don't remember my response, but that was typical of her offbeat nature. It's years later that I realize she wanted us to be imaginative, and always treasure the child within us.

Looking back on her now, she made a lasting impression on me. I didn't know who Joyce Carol Oates was in high school, but in the time following, made the connection to the similarity in their appearance. Dr. Joeris used a microphone from her desk sometimes because of fragile voice, and referred to as little ones.

Dr. Joeris and I exchanged a few letters after I moved to New York, all of which I still have safe in a letter bound case. I know we had an affinity for each other, extending to her gifting me a subscription to Daily Word. Was she concerned for soul in New York, away from the bible belt of Texas?

I write to create, recreate, or redefine people, places, and experiences from my past and present. I write because Dr. Joeris gifted me a monogrammed silver Cross pen and pencil set (which I lost one of the two on a subway seat, and was agitated months later), and I love the feel of the pen when writing longhand.

I write to record my place in time on earth. I write to communicate with others who share and oppose my views. I write because it is as natural breathing or walking. I write because I can sometimes transport myself back in time to Dr. Joeris's class, as she walked about the room, shaping our sentences, and encouraging each successive paragraph. It's all about the sentences that become paragraphs, and the paragraphs then become pages.


Shelia said...

I like this Kendall, because I'm a person who loves to write too. My love of writing extends from my love of words. I just love putting words together to effect something sylish.

Have a great day!

Nardeeisms said...

Great reasons for writing! Shared by many - Nards