The Writer’s Dilemma
The class turns to Mr. Belvidere standing on a chair in front of the white board.
“Words flow by and through our lives, but for a moment, we capture them in song, in writing, in poetry. Today is the day that we shall trap a few moments for ourselves.
“Take out a sheet of paper, or a notebook, or perhaps that syllabus from that dreaded math class next door.” A few chuckles for good measure. “Use the tools that we have learned. Iambic pentameter, free verse. Refer to the greats that we’ve perused. Write to your heart’s content!”
Mr. Belvidere steps down from his impromptu podium to return to the students. He slides around the tables, witnessing the creative process burst forth from imagination to ink. Yet, one mind seems to be fixated on the paper rather than the poetry.
“My dear Mr. Williams, what seems to be troubling you?” Mr. Belvidere kneels to meet Quince face-to-face.
“I don’t have anything to write about, Mr. Belvidere.” He looks forlornly upon his page, stroking his pencil along the paper in hopes that something would appear on it other than indistinguishable scribbles.
“Well, why do you say that?”
“I’m not very interesting.”
A look of inquisition comes over Mr. Belvidere. “How did you come to this conclusion, Quince?”
“I don’t know…” Quince fiddles with his pencil between his fingers.
Mr. Belvidere looks deeply into the blank page and turns back to Quince. “What do you see here, Quince?”
“A canvas.” Quince angles his gaze to Mr. Belvidere. “A canvas waiting for the artist rich with ideas and emotions.”
Quince returns to his sadness and his blank piece of paper. Mr. Belvidere, however, is not so easily defeated.
“How do you feel right now, Quince?”
“Because I can’t think of anything to write about.”
“Then write about your sadness.”
Confused, Quince turns again to Mr. Belvidere. “What?”
“Write how you feel, about not being able to write about anything. Write how it saddens you to feel empty or without purpose. It can be short and succinct, or you can embellish it until it lights the very corners of your heart. But write what you feel here,” Mr. Belvidere says as he puts his hand over his own heart, “onto here.”
Mr. Belvidere rests his same rough hand onto the blank page. Quince feels the heaviness of his teacher’s words, the depth of his passion and empathy. A light of encouragement clicks in his head as he finally breaks a smile to Mr. Belvidere. The teacher responds in kind.
Mr. Belvidere rises to his feet, arms raised, overflowing with happiness. A rush of excitement emanates from his voice. “Let the words flow from the very core of your being. Unleash the emotions of your hearts onto the pages ready to receive. Feel and breathe these things into life!”
And in the quiet scribbling of the classroom, the hearts and minds of its visitors connect as one melodious song, one full chorus, one chord at full volume for the school to hearken to and behold.