by Jessica Harrington
I had great aspirations planned for today, my first day off from life in what feels like months, yet when I woke up to another gray, cold, rainy day those aspirations quickly faded. I made the executive decision that I would spend my day reconnecting with Netflix on the couch. While perusing through the many genre options I stopped off in Documentaries to find a gem titled Bomb It. It is about graffiti and tagging, its origins, development, what it means today. According to the film, in America, among other rationales, the art form is about manipulating your pseudonym, so the letters become artistic extensions of who you are and what you represent.
The documentary got me thinking that in a way, writers are also taking letters and turning them into artistic extensions of ourselves. We combine letters to form words, which in turn become the sentences that comprise whatever story we are trying to share. It is a way to make our experiences, opinions, and fascinations real- to connect with another soul. As the poet Gregory Orr said in a program broadcast on NPR*, “An additional miracle comes to me as the maker of poems: Because poems can be shared between poet and audience, they also become a further triumph over human isolation.” I feel that is precisely what being a writer means, to connect with other humans. Whether to help them escape their reality, provide a good laugh or cry, or to educate, we write to connect, to help bind us together through experience, thoughts, and emotion.