29 January 2013

Mr. Van Kirk

“... There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all ...”
 
~ John Lennon, Real Love: The Drawings for Sean
I met him in 1989.  Twenty-four years ago.  I remember walking into his classroom and seeing him at the front of the room.  He was dressed casually, with black jeans and sneakers.  I thought he was a bit young to be a "professor."  He had a military look about him.  Later he would reveal that he had served in the military as a naval aviator.

I remember him because he had a hand in shaping a part of who I have become.  My parents were the one who had instilled in me a love for reading, but he was the one who had inspired me to write.  Write anything.  Just write.  One of our exercises in his creative writing class was to write a daily journal entry.  He was never judgmental about what we wrote.  He merely wanted us to get into the habit of writing, about anything, and to let our creatve juices flowing.  At first, my journal entries were boring.  I wrote just enough to complete the exercise, and it was always without any thought.  But as time went on, I started to think.  I started to really care about what I was writing.  I started to pay attention to the words I was using and how I was using them. 

I worked hard on the papers I submitted to him.  I waited anxiously for his comments about my writing.  He was always inspiring and never critical.  He encouraged, rather than discouraged.  I have never forgotten him, and much of how I write is because of him.

Thank you, Mr. Van Kirk.  You have been an inspiration.


26 January 2013

Unfinished

“Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
I stumbled upon an inspirational blog entry that made me ponder about my life.  Rose Marie writes in her blog that she is an "unfinished woman."

This resonates so well with how I view myself and my life.  I have never felt complete or fulfilled.  I have always felt as though there was still so much I have to do, see, create, and love.  There has always been a sort of hole in my soul that I yearn to fill, and slowly, over the years, I fill that emptiness with the things I experience, the places that I see, and the people that I love.

But I know that I am not yet close to being done or "finished."  There is a lingering feeling that I need more.  There is a hunger to taste more fruit, to smell more flowers, to listen to more music, to read more books, to travel to more and different places, to meet more people, and to give more love to those who are already in my life.

Knowing that I am still "unfinished" motivates me to get up and do whatever it takes to get me closer to becoming "finished."  The truth is, we don't ever want to be "finished," because being so means that there is nothing left to look forward to doing.  I would much rather just live my life knowing that I am a work in progress, and I will continue to strive to improving myself in all areas of my life.

In essence, I want to continue being "unfinished" and to embrace all those things in life that will help to complete and fulfill me. 

photo by ♥N | 23 July 2012