Ode to Teenagers
And so here they are in uniform (blue collared shirt, blue corduroy knickers, red knee-high socks): Triumphant. Giddy. Nervous. Proud.
Thirty-six teenage creative writing majors who have been writing 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, for the last three weeks. This photo, taken moments before they gave their public reading to an audience of 100+ people, captures only a sliver of the energy that could be felt in the room tonight.
What bravery! What dreamers! What truly sparkling, joyful spirits! Never mind that some of them are bitter, some are already feeling cheated by the world. Never mind that others are still innocent, haven’t yet felt that first major loss or injustice.
Together they are everything that is wonderful and terrifying about the human spirit—how hard we are on ourselves, how we secretly all want to be understood, how afraid we are to believe yet how fated we are to stretch and strive and work and cry out.
Oh, dear teenagers, you sing your barbaric yawps into the world and make me cry! Sometimes the world forgets to listen to you. Sometimes you feel like Shakespeare’s fools. Keep yawping! Send your chorus into the night until the stars shake with applause!