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Friday, April 23, 2010

Lewis, Wilder, Frost and Me

...speech was for them a debased form of silence; how much more futile is poetry which is a debased form of speech. All those allusions to honor, reputation, and the flame of love, all the metaphors about birds, Achilles and the jewels of Ceylon were fatiguing. In the presence of literature they had the same darkling intelligence that stirs for a time behind the eyes of a dog, but they sat on patiently, gazing at the bright candles and the rich clothes.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

"I wish I could write like that," I say between mouthfuls of stew. "I love reading these great authors but it makes me bummed because my stuff isn't nearly that good."

I've spilled. Not only is my writing not up there with the masters, but I'm a messy eater too.

"I don't think you should be comparing yourself to the great writers of the past," my co-worker cautions. "Stick with what you're trying to write, keep improving, but don't compare yourself to what others do. That's not going to help you much."

She's right.

And as I think about some of my favorite writers, I realize just how diverse they are. My favorite bloggers are nothing like Chesterton, but I enjoy reading works by both. I absolutely love reading Lewis, but that doesn't mean I don't also enjoy the works of Robert Service. And some of the most well-known poetry in the world was written by Robert Frost and Dr. Seuss whose works are brilliant in their simplicity and nothing like Wilder's word pictures.

We have a constant draw to be like others whom we wish to emulate. May we not forget to be ourselves. Not because of some trite "you're special" kind of reasoning, but rather because we recognize that we--as unique individuals--have unique opportunities to shape and impact this world.

So, no, I'm no master author (though I'd love to be that someday). I also happen to spill things from time to time (something I'd like to see less and less of in my life). But for now, I must keep my focus on what I have been uniquely given to do: Encourage you in your homeschooling experience.

Each of your children is uniquely gifted to do certain things. That's certainly proven true for us four Holzmann kids. May you find ways to encourage your children to not become disheartened by the greatness in others but to find the greatness to which they have been called.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father


se7en said...

Oh Wow, I love the Bridge of San Luis Rey!!! And your last line is excellently written - spilled lunch or not.

Here's a funny: My daughter (Just 9) wanted to know why: "Sonlight: The way you wish you had been Taught." was written on her file - Surely this is the education she is having... a very complicated grammar situation came into play as her oldest brother explained first person/third person, past and present, noun functions and subjects...

Hope you have a good weekend!!!

Michelle said...

I know what you mean! I feel the same way too (about my writing, I mean. I'm a pretty clean eater (grin)).

I love your line about poetry. I've joined my sister-in-law and her friends in posting poetry on Wednesdays on our blogs. I tend to compare my selections to theirs - and wonder why I don't feel as passionately about poetry as they do.

But I've decided it's OK. Through this exercise, I'm learning to enjoy poetry much, much more than I ever dreamed I would. And I find myself appreciating the poetry I read to my children every week.

One thing I love about Sonlight. If poetry hadn't been in the IG - I doubt I would have graduated much past Dr. Suess (who is one of my favorites too!).

Billy Coffey said...

I LOVE The Bridge of San Luis Rey. And I love your honesty here. I don't think there's a writer in the world who doesn't wish he or she could write like someone else. I guess that's a good thing. We should always be aiming a little higher than where we are.

Grateful for Grace said...

I haven't read this post yet and I'm heading to bed, but I just wanted to pop in and say that we are praying for Gracie Lou and your family!

Grateful for Grace said...

Luke- This is where I look for you. ;-)

Just know you are covered in so many prayers, as Gracie Lou's parents and all her family. I'm soo very sorry.

Luke Holzmann said...

Se7en, love the story <smile>.

Michelle, glad to find you're discovering the joy of poetry. I have long loved my own, but I'm still learning to enjoy the poetry of others <smile>.

Great point, Billy. May we all continue to strive to improve!

Thank you, Grateful. It's really hard right now. Thank you for your prayers.



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