Thursday, January 22, 2015

# 102 Ms. Diffenbaugh and Friends (me included)

Okay, I will admit it.  I am a stalker of authors.  I love hearing from them so I sit myself down and compose heartfelt and sincere letters hoping to receive a nugget of their brilliance with the remote chance it will wear off on me.  Below is a correspondence from Vanessa Diffenbaugh--author of The Language of Flowers (another book I would highly recommend).  I love her assistant's entry and am forever grateful for both of them for taking the time to write (and adding a microscopic piece of brilliance to my brain).

Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Dear Mary,
Thank you for reaching out! It makes me so happy to hear that my book is of some comfort to you at this time. I think it's wonderful that you are writing a blog, and a trip to India sounds very exciting. My family and I are actually hoping to travel there sometime next year.
Since I am working on the final edits of my book and am also busy with my young children, I am trying not to take on any additional writing projects. I really appreciate your invitation! After reading your blog, my assistant has offered to contribute a short post if you would like to include it (attached below).
I wish you all the best on your journeys--both health-related and otherwise.
Warmly, Vanessa

A Picture of a Star

Sometimes the easiest way to put life into perspective is to listen to what children have to say. I used to work at an elementary school in a first grade classroom, and the students would say so many surprising and perceptive things to me each week that I started keeping a notebook full of their effortless aphorisms. This began about four years ago, and now, whenever I feel myself forgetting how wondrously simple life can be, I return to my notebooks and remind myself how to look at the world with a child’s honesty, enthusiasm, and awe. Here are some examples:
Just recently, after painting with a group of kids, a girl held up her paint-splattered hands and said, “Art Class always gives you a high five!” 
A boy saw me trimming maps of the world so they would fit on class folders, and with a hurt and horrified expression he said, “Ms. Emily, why are you cutting the world in half?”
During a grammar lesson a characteristically rambunctious boy turned pensive and compared an apostrophe to a crescent moon. 
A boy’s spelling homework was so poetic, that I attempted to insert line breaks and stanzas for fun. One of my favorite lines: “The mean dust bunny quarrels every time.” And the final stanza: When I am 100 years old/ I will be an astronaut/ and get a picture of a star. /And I will remember/ that star.  
 Once a little girl said to me out of the blue, “You know Ms. Emily, you’re still a child to your parents” (this was the same little girl who always reprimanded me when she caught me drinking cola at lunchtime). Of course this is true, and although I enjoy the adult benefit of eating as much junk food as I please, I aspire daily to get in touch with my own inner child, and bring it out in the people I know.    

Thanks for reading # 102 of 7777.

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