I've learned recently, through some team building exercises, that I am a "Gold" - practical, sensible, organized, dependable. Not a news flash to those who know me for more than an hour. But something I have come recently to doubt about myself. These are my strengths - I should not apologize for them, nor should they be my crutch. It is me and I must know it and embrace it. Orange - risk taking - was my lowest color.
I think this internal color spectrum represents what prohibits me from writing - or at least writing as often as I would like. I do like to take sensible risks - and I certainly have opinions about writing. But I use this blog with my workshops and in those cases my role is different. I am a facilitator, a trainer, a guide on the side. Members of my organization read this blog on occaision - do I need to be mindful of what I say? Where do my provocative questions fall?
My weekly email from Choice Literacy arrived and it has me thinking about this quandry. Brenda Power writes about a metaphor from one of my writing mentors, Ralph Fletcher:
"If you're scrambling to find time for what needs to be done, consider
the story of the monkey's hand. Writer Ralph Fletcher uses a wonderful
metaphor to describe how we get trapped in certain ways of working or
thinking. In South America, monkeys are caught by an ingenious means. The
traps used to capture them are filled with rice. In order to get the rice,
the monkey places her hand through a small opening in the box. Once she
grasps the rice, her hand can no longer fit through the opening. She is
trapped, because she doesn't think to let go of some of the rice so that she
can free her hand...
The monkey holds on because what's in her hand has value. But if you
free up just a bit of your time by giving away something of value, you may
discover new uses for your time, or new ways of thinking about your time, that
are even more valuable."
I've always had a strange affinity for monkey analogies - just ask my students! - but this one in particular has hit home. I think you'll be seeing some changes around this blog - ones that I hope of are of value. Not sure what they are quite yet - but Easter seems to have brought about a renewal in me as a writer and an educator. So, dear readers, hold on!!