Cave of Wonders

It’s always rewarding when you have a class that actually makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning.

To me, as a prospective English major, writing soothes the soul. It allows me an escape. It is a tool that I often use to release my thoughts into the world, hoping that one day they’ll come back to me in a time of need. Poetry has been my outlet for so many years that for a time I had forgotten what it was like when rhythm and metaphors weren’t a part of my everyday life. I was opening myself up to a new fantastic point of view.

I remember walking into my very first class as an official college student. Monday, August 27, 2018, 8:30 am. I had no idea what to expect from a course entitled Creative Nonfiction and rampant thoughts raced throughout my head.

What did I get myself into to? The only books I ever willingly read on my own terms are fantasy books, why would I go out of my way to change that? Give me vampires, werewolves, and fairies, right now!!! How can a nonfiction work even be creative? 

I pushed my hesitation aside as I walked into a small classroom, with long tables fashioned into a small circle and chairs filed in around it. The space felt intimate. I took my place in a corner of the arrangement facing towards the teacher’s desk.

I waited.

More students waltzed in shortly afterward, and then, our Professor arrived. She was beaming with joy and excitement and I couldn’t help but reflect her same bubbly energy. She passed out index cards, and told us to use the small space to write down the story of our lives. After we were done, she had us explain to the class what parts of our story we were surprised we had mentioned, which ones we didn’t, who our audience was, and who we wouldn’t want to read our stories.

I was shocked at the outcome, and it dawned on me that the remainder of this class would be spent as a kind of self-exploration. She explained how we would be reading memoirs and literary journals throughout the semester and even have a chance to write our own. I had written so much poetry before, but a lot of it revolved around sights that I saw, or short bursts of feelings that I had.

Diving deep into the core of my being, and becoming vulnerable in my writing would prove itself to be a new experience that would bloom an evergrowing passion within me. I was ready to tackle any writing prompt she threw at us, perched on the edge of my seat to be one jump ahead.

Sometimes, you have to physically and mentally “get out of the palace, see the world!”