The prompt this time was the Five Word Free Write. For a detailed description of this prompt, click here.
The five words this time were: Seagulls, Green, Apples, Clouds, and Falling.
What I wrote is below.
A sense of wonder. That’s what he’s seeking. The lovely surprise of seeds sprouting into seedlings, the little green hands reaching for the sun. Or a Monarch—bursting out of its chrysalis—that struggle to come back to life, the wet, crumpled wings, those new unfamiliar legs. He wants to hold onto it—the wonder—to stop fearing the unknown, to be naive, to let the not knowing be divine somehow, not a slap in the face, not a letter grade or an eye roll. to let the expression, “I don’t know,” be an opening. So teach me. Tell me more. Or an invitation. Will you show me?
When, he wonders, did he begin to think he had to know everything, the way his friend snapped one day, saying, “You ask so many questions!” nearly pleading. “And I don’t know all the answers.” Who raised these two boys to think that was what it meant to be an adult? Why did it matter so much to know all of the answers?
He could study Spanish and Italian verbs every day, but could he ever be fluent? He was so busy comparing himself to his Polyglot friends. One friend speaks nine languages, “But,” his friend once said, “only seven fluently.” Instead of comparing that to his attempts to speak Spanish, why not learn more about his friend? The way Gallic and Gaelic are different forms of the language of ancient, friendly tribes? Why not revel in the discovery that the double L in Portuguese does not carry the Y sound, as it does in Spanish? Why focus on knowing so often, and not discovering?
To discover: such a lovely infinitive. A whole world there on the other side. An entire universe.