Monday, January 17, 2011

something that stopped me in my tracks

last semester essayist kim dana kupperman came to byu to do a reading, and my creative nonfiction class was privileged to interview her prior to her reading. while she gave lots of helpful suggestions and insights, one thing specifically stuck with me.

some writing exercises i like more than others, and she gave one that i really liked, and that i'm going to try to keep me writing (and thinking) while i'm not in school. so here it is:

basically, over a certain period of time i am to record three separate, most likely unrelated events, or things, that stop me in my tracks, and then i will try to connect them in some way. the point isn't necessarily to end up with an essay about those three things, but to seek a connection (an epiphany, you could say) and expound upon it.

so here's the first thing that stopped me in my tracks:

just before midnight on new year's eve, thousands of red-winged blackbirds in arkansas fell to the ground, dead. around the same time, around a hundred thousand fish in arkansas washed up on the beach, also dead. i've also heard that similar instances reported in lousiana, and even sweden! nobody quite knows what caused these birds to mysteriously plummet to the ground--people are blaming everything from fireworks to the end of the world. whatever the reason, this is completely baffling to me. how inexplicably bizarre! why just one species? why simultaneously? why new year's eve? i can't quite stop thinking about it.

as frustrating as it is not knowing why this happened, sometimes it is pleasant to be reminded just how much we don't know about the world around us. there is so much to learn, so many questions to be asked. most people probably think it's overwhelming to think of everything we don't know, but i find it... challenging.

and strangely gratifying.

1 comment:

jessica renae said...

that really is bizarre.... and kind of unsettling, like an alfred hitchcock movie come to life. ugh, it makes my skin crawl!