Wednesday, January 25, 2012

John Elder-by Alex Duchac

Reaching for the sky
Like the color of dried blood
The bottom with a tinge
of green rising slowly
to be engulfed by the red
Reaching, striving upward
Thick to slender
Reaching up
Spreading out
The way it was meant to be

This is in response to the first assignment John Elder had us do when we met him on the Middlebury College campus. He gave us the prompt that we should respond to the nature around us, in either writing or drawing. We sat on a freezing granite bench for a significant time, engrossed in our creative endeavors. Then he invited us inside to continue the assignment. We followed him into the building and walked down the stairs to a conference room. After we had settled ourselves in the chairs, we waited for John Elder to give us the second part of the prompt. He told us there were two parts to the second portion. The first part was to write about what this prompt allowed us to do, and the second part was to connect the first part of the assignment to an early childhood memory. After we had taken some time to write, he asked us to share the ways we responded to the nature that we wrote about. Then he asked us how our writing had connected with our childhood memories. The responses ranged from the memory of a visit to waterfall, to the memory of a father letting go of a bike. Our time was almost up, with just enough time for questions. Our meeting with one of the top nature writers came to a close, and we began the trek back to the bus, and school.

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