Tonight I watched groups of kids give demonstrations at a 4-H club meeting. I enjoyed the awkward silences as they searched their notes for the right things to say, the quick glances at parents as they wrapped their mouths around words like "combustion engine" and "ignition source". I spotted two in particular with potential to be very good public speakers. I enjoy feeling like a talent scout/self-esteem coach and I love watching kids blossom in response to encouragement. That is the best part of this job. In fact, it is the only part of this job that makes it worth all the crap.
Lots of editing done this morning. I'm going to relax about the finite stuff a little. Someone on TUF pointed out that readers aren't scanning the text for the awkwardly worded sentences. They simply want to be transported by a good story told in an interesting, readable fashion.
For now, I'm off to paint angel shells. The proceeds should just about put gas in my tank for the next week.
The following is an excerpt of a Pattiann Rogers piece from her book "Generations". Since I couldn't find copies of it anywhere on the internet and I wasn't sure about copywrite infringement I picked the strophes I liked the most. You'll have to get the book if you want to read the rest or e-mail me for my somewhat dog-eared copy. It made more than one trip to work with me.
It existed before all the paper bells
fell with their shivered ringing
from the river trees; before
the ground apples turned
to sweet pudding for the honey
ants and the titbirds; before the fog
returned the sea to the sun. . .
The precedent was charted before
there were metallic wood-boring
beetle paths, or comet paths,
or vole paths hollowed deep
in the blue beneath the snow
of the field . . .
It is a satisfying poem to read aloud and the images linger long after you've finished. This is my new favorite Pattiann piece.