professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Out of the mouths of babes

Do not ask me why, but for some reason today my first thought upon waking was a memory of the former resident of the back bedroom, now Career Girl, giggling through THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR, and then demanding, "Again!" This scene played out over and over or me and for BH with Career Girl and Nurse Girl both. I think somehow the memory surfaced because I read the new Jim LaMarche (Pond) at the office yesterday and it made me think of how much the kids loved his books when they were young.

Of course, this memory reminded me of the power of the REREAD. We have books that we return to over the course of time. The books do not change, but we do along the way. Our lives and experiences make the rereading richer, different. As Heraclitus observed, you never step into the same river twice. I think we never read the same book twice either. Each reading brings its own response.

The memory of, "AGAIN!" has a corollary for me as well. And it has to do with the chapter draft I completed yesterday. Often, when I am writing, whether here on the blog or for some other purpose, I stop and mutter, "I've already written about this. What more is there to say?" I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Donalyn Miller and I have talked about this, this idea that it has all been said, if not by us than by others.

And yet, yesterday while I was working on another project, I found myself diving back into the 1970s and an article by Ken Donelson about what to do BEFORE the censor comes. I actually have a hard copy of this article as the result of a project done for one of Dick Abrahamson's doc classes. I have copies of about a dozen articles that the class considered part of a core collection of sorts. We spanned decades of journals and boiled our results down to these articles. I keep them handy at the office, and refer to them often. This, then, is the "AGAIN!"

The ideas, the work of the past is still important to us today. So, even though I think I have written about something before, I remind myself about that river. It is time to wade again into the water and see what transpires. And so I write "AGAIN!" about reading aloud, about finding time to read, about the importance of books and reading in the lives of us all.
Tags: reading, rivers, writing
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