As I’ve celebrated finding the precise words and have applauded my fellow bloggers for their artistic expression, I have also missed the mark and wonder, why?
I’m not talking about the occasional ranting for a cause, which I confess I sometimes do. Nor, am I going to beat myself up over a misspelling that slipped by or the damn typo. I confess am a terrible speller, but I am improving. Thank God, or should that be: thank Bill Gates, for spell-check on Microsoft word.
This error or miss is about choice. It is the use of one word without even the consideration of another. This is about language and it’s usage. This is why writers are supposed to read the works of others. This is why students are advised to learn from many teachers. We all use different words in articulation. In reading and hearing language we expand our ability of expression.
Writers are told they should write what they know. That is sound advice. Generally, if you know something: have experienced it, learned a skill, or taken up a craft, with that one would expect, should have come the language: the tools to articulate; however this is not always the case.
Many years ago, for my Advanced Composition course we read Mike Rose’s, “Lives on the Boundary” to prepare us to become writing mentor’s for at risk children. Our goal was to engage these adolescent’s in creative writing through the use of various prompts. Mike Rose gave us the tools to do so, by excusing the typical classroom conventions of spelling and grammar, to strive toward freedom of expression. As I remember my understanding of Rose’s teaching philosophy: when you eliminate the rules, the student/writer is free to express to the best of their ability without being intimidated and stifled by their limitations.
Engaging the group using Mike Rose’s philosophy was successful and rewarding for both the students and I, the mentor. The student’s each wanted to express themselves and they did. They were creative and thoughtful in their writing. They succeeded and in doing so, they gained confidence and respect from their peers, but most importantly they expressed their ideas and feelings to the best of their ability because they felt uninhibited.
As I have written in recent posts my juggle between the various crafts of writing, crocheting, and baking, to escape the frustration of unemployment while continuing to be a productive human being, it has come to my attention when reading a comment by one of my readers that I have fallen short in the language I used to articulate my craft. This morning, I sit here pondering:
- How had this happened?
- Why did I do that?
- What does this mean, for me as a writer?
- Is it time for me to throw the blanket over my head and stay in bed?
I believe that I have strung you along-long enough, that I have gained enough courage, and that I have proven myself worthy as a writer, thus far in this post to confess to you, my reader, where I have gone wrong and answer the above questions I’ve presented.
This is an afghan that I am crocheting, which I have repeatedly referred to as a blanket in my posts. My gentle reader in her comment to the post did not say “Hey, asshole…” She put aside my reference of it as a blanket and applied her knowledge, her expertise as a crafter, used her language calling it an afghan, complimenting my artistry without belittling my limited language as seen in my articulation. Mike Rose would approve!
In return, I thanked her for her complement of my afghan applying the language she taught me. This post, when she is pinged at the end is my way of thanking her and referring others to her site as I find her to be a master-crafter.
Of course, I have heard the word afghan before, without ever taking a crocheting or knitting class. My Baba (grandmother) taught me to crochet as a child. Her English was limited. She spoke Croatian, a language I did not understand, however to my mother and my aunt’s surprise, as they could tell by my responses, I understood everything my Baba said to me, as I understood the language of her heart.
In crocheting, I have no language to articulate my craft. I don’t know the stitches I use. I stitch with love, love, and more love, how I was taught. My knowledge came from her heart and its application is from my heart. As Baba did her best to articulate to me I will do my best when articulating to you.
I won’t be throwing the blanket over my head. I will crochet my afghan as it lies on my lap. And once again, the story goes back to Baba.
The Master-Crafter: Fishesweb’s Blog.
In writing do you find yourself getting caught up in that slice of life that leaves out your full spectrum of knowledge to the subject? We become who we are by those who have touched our lives. Do you find your special person keeps appearing in your craft?