The Essay

1. I am writing this post from a blanket on the grass at soccer practice. Soccer practice has begun, and next week school, and the next week breakdancing. Brown leaves are scattered across the grass, and three white dogs are roughhousing nearby and I’m wearing the most comfortable jeans ever and things almost seem steady. And predictable.

2. We are mapping the college application process out on enormous pieces of paper in our living room. Sometimes when my son complains about being nagged about working on college application essays, I get really annoyed. I say, “I’m not doing this for me. I already went to college.” I don’t know that it’s particularly helpful, but I have a hard streak and I say tough things like that. And while it’s the truth, it’s also true that I didn’t go to college like this–with all of the pressure and stress and competition. Last week we met with his counselor who gave us a packet of forms to fill out and a series of deadlines and answered 70% of our questions. There are two ‘universal’ applications and then each of these schools wants more essays. One school wants a list of his favorite things–favorite recording, favorite movie, favorite book etc. Another school wants him to write a note to his future roommate. This poor kid. But…it’s kind of amazing that he’s doing all of this self-reflection right now, as he’s embarking on this journey. I wonder how the process of writing these essays will affect his becoming, how they will help him realize what he wants right now. Sometimes the system isn’t the worst.

3. There is a bruise blooming on my thigh from a baseball I didn’t catch. Me: ouch! Kid: that’s why you’re supposed to CATCH it in the glove, Mama. He has a hard streak too.

Below is an excerpt from the first essay in the Summer issue of Creative Nonfiction magazine, by Nicole Walker. 

“The facts are the glacier to the soft canyon of your own history.”

Doesn’t it make you want to write? About the things you know for certain and the things you can’t be sure of? Put them next to one another. See what new space is carved out by the effort.

From “The Braided Essay as Social Justice Action” by Nicole Walker

One thought on “The Essay

  1. Ebony

    Thank you.

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