Sunday, November 13, 2011

Essays of our lives

It comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this regularly that Himself and I are big fans of GK Chesterton.  Last night we had the opportunity to attend a fundraiser for a local, private Catholic school  at which Dale Ahlquist spoke.  Dale is probably the foremost authority on GKC as he is the host of The Apostle of Common Sense on EWTN, author of a number of books, and the president of the American Chesterton Society

As usual, he gave a brilliant and most funny talk about GKC ranging on a number of topics.  Since it was a fundraiser for the school there were probably people there who were not all that familiar with this author so Dale gave some background on the man.  Chesterton has written well over a hundred books and hundreds, if not thousands, of essays.  Dale chuckled as he imagined that the students from the school that attended last night's event would themselves be writing essays shortly about what they heard.

That got me thinking.  That's what we do here.  We write essays.  About our lives, our faith, families, dreams, hopes and even our fears and disappointments.  We might not be as prolific as GKC but for whatever reason we feel a need, even a calling, to pour out our words for others to read.

When I was in junior high school we had an tremendous English teacher.  He made sure we knew the structure of our language, how to write well crafted sentences.  We diagramed hundreds of sentences, understanding every noun, pronoun, adjective and adverb.  He would probably be horrified at some the writing and phrasing I do here. 

One of the things Mr. Z had us do was keep a notebook in which we wrote every day.  He would give us a phrase or a sentence and that would be the beginning of our essay.  Sometimes that start would be pretty innocuous, leading to some wildly different writing from each of us.  Sometimes it was more directed.  But, regardless, it sparked our imagination and got us writing.  What a great gift he gave us! 

And, oh, what I'd give to have that notebook back!

1 comment:

  1. Oh gosh - I had forgotten about sentence diagrams!