Looking back in time, reminiscing, worrying, analyzing: these are things we all do as lifelong learners. What’s most fun for me to do as an English teacher though is to look back at my own writing and see just how far I’ve come. When I look back at previous writing I think anything from “Wow, that’s actually pretty good. I’m a tad proud…” to “How immature…at least I know better now.”
The art of reflecting is so important for all walks in life. If you can think, you must reflect. If you write, I ask that you take this into account as well: You Must Wreflect. Don’t forget to take a look at what you’ve done, how you have improved, and how you can improve. With anything in life, we should be moving forward, right? But let’s not forget to look back and wreflect, every once in a while. Take the time to look back at your strengths, areas of improvement…Most of all, don’t forget to wreflect on your old, new, and differing perspectives. Sure, your writing perspectives are all yours, but it’s time that truly makes the difference. My advice? Pick up a new habit today, and wreflect away. It’s better than a habit of eating too much chocolate…
Enjoy a peek into the past, with a flash fiction piece I wrote for a class blog in 2010, The Art of Brevity.
She thinks she remembers hearing one time that it takes 10,000 years for one drop of water to make its way around the world and back. Arms outstretched to the sky, she stands welcoming snowflakes onto her tongue. She catches one. A sigh. She wishes she could be one of those snowflakes. Then maybe she wouldn’t have to open this window just to get some fresh air, to play a child’s game for freedom, for a taste of joy. They won’t let her out anymore. She’s stuck. She’s thirty-three, or thirty-five, she thinks—and is being held captive like a bad child. This is no timeout to think about your bad behavior though. This is life, she thinks. What is life when you find yourself envying a well-travelled snowflake? Not much of one, she thinks. A deep sigh leaves her chest in solemn report, her lip corners curled down. Her palm reaches to meet her jaw, her fingers to her cheek, as her elbow hastily meets the dusty windowsill for daydreaming time. She has daydreamed here so many times that her elbow has worn a pale circle in the white paint of the sill; wood now peeks through. Each time she finds more dust, more ladybugs dead and jammed in the window’s bottom edges. They didn’t get out either. They’re all stuck like her maybe—not that they would have fared better out in the cold, but maybe they would have found happiness before they died, if only they’d been out there. A gale-force wind rushes in at her face, blowing her back from the window and out of her present daydream. Oh, to be out there, she sighs, back in the world again. She can see her sister’s pudgy face smiling at her now, Pattycake? She sees her brother cheer, shooting up next to her, fist in the air; they are at a baseball game and have just witnessed a two-run homer. She sees hot dog stands and moms with strollers, people heading to the post office for holiday stamps, trees, trees, and more trees. She thinks she misses those the most.
She’d had a dream once, before this place. She was going to set foot on every continent—even the forbidding iceberg of Antarctica. She would have too if she hadn’t gone crazy and landed herself in theloony bin. She wasn’t supposed to call it that though. The doctors advised against it. The other patients didn’t like it, they said. They said the others might have an episode, and then where would we be? Still here, she’d thought. And she’d rather be anywhere but here, as the nurse taps her on the shoulder now, handing her 5 pills. No water. Tossing them back in her throat, she dreams. Just to be a snowflake. Ten thousand years from now she could be right back where she started. But she’d have travelled all around the world, and maybe, she thinks—maybe that would make all the difference.
What do you think? Wreflect below!