This is the Oscar winning Animated Short from this year…it came to me yesterday, at The Perfect Moment, as sometimes happens with things, via a tag from a friend on Facebook. It was a reminder I needed to hear and see about the goodness of dreaming, wandering, freeing, sharing…about the creative power of words, flying, and how the music of the relationship between reader and text can make for some liberating dancing….
I needed to hear this anew for myself…I needed to hear it again to share it with my students in a new and different way. Today, before my first group of students went to search for their books, we had an amazing conversation about how words simply rest upon the page. In the reading, the taking in, of the story or word, we allow it to become. And when it becomes a part of us, it becomes part of what we share with others, gets passed on, woven in, etc. We might take a word in because of what it means, or we might take it in because we simply like the way it feels in our mouth or the way it bounces when we drop it against another set of syllables. When we free it, share it…that is flying time and it takes sparrows, parrots, and hummingbirds alike to fill the sky…all sorts of words for all sorts of reasons…
To that end, as they made their choices and checked out, I asked them to think about what word they wanted to set free in the world. We regathered on the steps at the end of the half hour and the kids shared their choices.
It was awesome…we filled the library with words and joy and the fuzz and tickle of language. Their choices included exploration, Chewbacca, hippopotomoustache, wasabi, hibachi, read, love, freedom, qi… They were all trying out different words and putting them out into the world…creating something new, setting it free to fly or fumble or shrug the snuffle.
To watch their delight, their realizing that yes, they have within themselves the power to create and set free with language…Augh…I was extraordinarily happy for my kids and grateful to God for being so amazingly alive in them!
So amazingly alive in them, and for four adventurous decades, so generously present to me in writing and language and Word…
In the effervescent moment
of syllables passing through–
when listening wide, inside,
head just tilted
toward the wind–
there flitters a feathery deep
knowing in my soul:
Before all else, ah!
in the heart of Word–
and Word did not forget
our shimmering delight.