I’m taking an online course, Stunt Writing for Personal Growth. As I responded on an introductory survey, I’m taking the course because:
1. I’m writing a memoir but have not studied memoir writing with an instructor before; am interested in participating in more structured conversation about memoir.
2. I am a research librarian so the topic of MOOCs and other online learning is ubiquitous; I’m interested in experiencing a MOOC from the student perspective.
3. To challenge myself with unfamiliar, potentially uncomfortable, subjects and styles of writing – to explore voice.
There will be multiple learning modules over five weeks, and I have absolutely no idea what to expect. It’s the first day, and I’ve almost bailed numerous times already. But I want to stick with it; I want to give it a shot. I want to honor my skepticism but nevertheless participate in a way that is genuine, curious, and open-minded. Again, we’ll see. Here’s my first assignment. A brief response to the prompt Shoes, Meals, Coats, and Handbags.
They were the only shoes of yours I could fit into when you died, and even then I had to fasten them on tight. Your prized Alps: a web of blue fabric straps crisscrossing the forefoot, encircling the ankle, and holding the heel in place. The size long ago wore off. The outline of a foot – toes, an arch, the gentle arc of a heel – is imprinted on the shoe bed; mine or yours?
I wore them summers, at the lake, at camp, in the creek, on walking treks in the woods. Mom called them my “water shoes.” Now they are in the bottom of my closet, I don’t wear them anymore. They are clutter, taking up space, valuable real estate in already cramped quarters, as well as psychic room, emotional space. The sandals raise questions, did you know that was possible? Shoes inspiring wonder? As time has passed the questions have changed, from where did you go, where are you now, to why do I keep these old dirty shoes, tired and ragged and worn?
Why can’t I get rid of your shoes?
They carry such weight; the dust of years.