Forgetting Futility

Be as a child.

I so enjoyed just now reading this wonderful reflection by David Halperin on the philosophy of PeanutsA Lesson From Sally Brown | My Blog, that I had to share it here right away.

Halperin writes:

To brood about the “futility” of this or that action, the very concept of “futility,” is alien to a child.  The child simply does, and the delight of the doing is sufficient. 

I am privileged to have the opportunity to attend an all-day workshop led by Halperin at the end of the month in Greensboro for the NC Writers’ Network conference.  Halperin already has brought some influential ideas into my head via his blog.

As I work with the writers for the 2011 Essays on Childhood project, I notice natural ebbs and flows in their confidence in whether or not putting some of their experiences down on paper is 1) a good idea, and 2) something they think they can do well.  This post from Halperin reminds us that it is the doing that is our joy, and our satisfaction, and yes even our achievement.

Whether you are a writer or not, I hope today you will find yourself in the midst of something you love to do, and not over-analyze it.  Simply bask in the pure pleasure of doing something you enjoy, and don’t worry so much about what it’s for or what “the result” was.

Be as a child.  Enter the kingdom of heaven by just doing.  That is enough.

Image credit: E. Gaucher

“There’s No Crying in a Tobacco Field”

Writers participating in the 2011 Essays on Childhood may be interested in this link from the North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN):  Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition Winners Announced.  This essay sounds right in line with the work we are doing at Esse Diem around Essays on Childhood, especially the sense of place focus in 2011.

The winning essay, “There’s No Crying in a Tobacco Field,” is described by a contest judge as follows:

“This essay took me into a world I barely knew—a North Carolina tobacco field—and taught me something,” Varner said. “The writer effortlessly weaves together a personal narrative about working as a ‘tobacco kid’ in the fields and the chilling research about the unseen health hazards thousands of children surely suffered. Here is a piece wrestling with the hard lessons learned plucking leaves from the field and long-term medical concerns these former tobacco kids could face.”

The NCWN is a wonderful resource, and I encourage anyone writing for the EOC project to peruse it.  I like to think of the Essays on Childhood as one day being part of something larger that will offer even more resources and encouragement to writers, a la NCWN.

West Virginia is fortunate to have West Virginia Writers, Inc., which I am rather ashamed to say is new to me but I was quite pleased to find online today.  I am looking forward to being a part of that network, and I hope anyone participating in the EOC project will visit the WVW site and engage the resources there.

Happy writing!

Image credit:  The Human Rights Brief