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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Desire to Write Transcends being Locked In

After viewing the incredible film The Diving Bell & The Butterfly and then reading the memoir of the same title, I wonder if I have anything to complain about...I mean really. Blinking out a memoir in 14 months one letter at a time with one eyelid?! Now that's a voice insisting to be heard and worthy of being listened to.

After teaching remedial writing this semester, I suggested my students all see the film, a testament to the victory of the human spirit and a profound commentary on the desire to write and be heard no matter what the cost.

By itself alone this story of Jean Dominique Bauby, (French) Elle's Editor in Chief, and quite the Bon Vivant
sharing his last words and reflections on his life should inspire all nascent writers to come forth and mark their place in history on paper, on a keyboard, on a blog or video but mark a place and share the story of their own lives, for themselves, for their children and grandchildren. I don't know if any of my students will see the film, many of the class members were born in 1988/1989 and the idea of writing in a journal with a regular old pen may seem archaic, but I did see one of my young female students showing off her vinyl bound journal the last day of class with white pages inside filled with her cursive and her life as she is living it now.

Our personal histories are so undervalued, but so important in the sum total of our lives. Even though we may just be ordinary and I am certainly first in line as an ordinary woman, but the students that I have the privilege of teaching will one day rule the world that I will be ageing (and hopefully sage-ing) in. It will be important for all of us in the years to come not to forget what we must remember and what books and films like that of Bauby's story demand we remember.