Writing, Teaching, Music & the Loss

It’s that time of the week again–Music Monday and as promised there will be a sneak peek into a scene from Walking in the Shadows, which will be available 9 days. Wow, it’s getting close!

For today’s scene Knightley is going to get himself in hot water again. Why? As a teacher he believes that despite what it might do to him, he needs to do what is best for his students and this includes Vera. Knightley is a good teacher, the reason why? I believe a good teacher needs to abstain from arrogance, a teacher who believes they know everything,especially a literature teacher, is driving themselves into a hole in my experience, and what is much worse? They drive their students into the ground. I was one of those students. A good teacher realizes that they can learn from all of those around them, including their students. Knightley yearns to not only teach but also to be taught. If nothing else, one can learn about human nature. My reason for this thinking is simple, each and every one of us is different; we each bring a different experience to the table. An English teacher, in my mind, is a teacher of literature, a teacher of writing and a teacher of life. We read writing, we learn writing, writing teaches us about life. In it’s function writing is mechanical (put commas here, never start a sentence with and or but), but in it’s being it is far from mechanical; writing is emotional. It’s often emotionally driven, even the boring technical writing is driven by some sort of experience, which is very often driven by emotion. I wrote procedures for the bank I work for, and I put a little bit of me and my writing style in each of them. It was technical, but it was still emotionally driven by my need for perfection and the want to teach and make the processes easier to understand. Now, Knightley often finds himself in hot water because of his want to teach. In his lesson that we will see today, he is trying to teach his students how writing can help them deal with the emotions of every day life. He does have motives in this. He is trying, most of all, to help Vera deal with the things she has not. She admits to him that she used to write, but that she hasn’t since her parents died. That’s when he knows what he must do, even though it could very well eat him up inside–and oh, does it. He asks each of the students to write a poem, and then he shuffles them and each is read randomly and anonymously–poetry being as subjective as it is, everyone who participates receives an A. Knightley participates because he feels that his students should not have to do something he himself would not be willing to do. Under some sort of odd circumstance–AKA me, Knightley gets Vera’s poem at random. He knows it’s hers when he begins reading it and each word is a knife twisting into his soul:

“Now make sure the one you have isn’t yours…Are we all set?” He held up the paper he had in his hand. “Should I start?” His eyes landed on the paper and then found mine. He swallowed before opening his mouth to speak, but thought better of it and sat on his desk. I could see his hands shaking on the piece of paper as everyone waited for him to speak. He pulled on his tie and said, “There’s no title on this, so I’ll just begin to read.

‘All that guides me is fear,

And all that finds me is loss

Death defines which paths I cross

It is within the shadows that I stumble

And I am desperate without a voice

Here I am threatened by the resolve that you are

my soul

But if my lies are the path that I have to wander

because there is no choice

Will you love me still?

In the darkness of the night when I wish to do

nothing more than take flight?

Will you hold me to this plane and ease the

suffering and pain?

When all you know is the truth

And all they see is the lies

Will I be the one you find, or the one you leave


Alone may be the only home I shall find.’”

When Tad finished his jaw was clenched with his eyes staring at the piece of paper and one hand holding the side of his desk so tight that his knuckles were white.

“Are you okay, Mr. Knightley?” Jaz asked as everyone leaned back in their seats in surprise. “Mr. Knightley?”

“Knightley,” I spoke, and his eyes looked up and found mine while the rest of the classroom stared at me in surprise for using just the surname. “They’re just words.”

“You know that’s not true, Vera!” he hissed.

Now, to the song for today:

SONG: Stay Small

ARTIST: The Receiving End of Sirens

CD:The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi

GENRE: Experimental rock, Post-hardcore, Ambient


Son, I’m sorry for this world,
And all the awful things she’ll do to you.
If you only knew what you’d endure before you were born,
I haven’t got a single doubt,
You would have not come out,
And I would have known it was for the better.

You’ll be raped of any evidence,
Of ever owning any innocence.
This culture’s a vulture,
And your prime candidate for prey.
I’ve learned that I will lose all that I’ve ever loved one day,
But I never thought I’d ever have to watch it all go,
Or wish it all away.

I know you”ll grow,
But I wish I knew you’d stay small if I said so.
Please just don’t grow.
Please just don’t grow.
Stay small.
Won’t you stay small?

Daddy’s little girl met the world,
I watched the devil do his work.
If only she knew just how sorry I was for her.
I found not a single prayer,
Could save my daughter from despair,
As long as she stayed in love with this place.

It’s because I truly love her,
That I wish to take back the sperm,
That brought her here in the first place.
Little did I know when the egg met the semen,
That my new baby girl,
Like her dad would dance with demons.

We watch the devil do his work in us.
I watch the devil do his work.

ANALYSIS: Okay, to say the least some of these lyrics are well, blunt. To be honest with you, I thought it said “I wish to take back the world” and the other part I thought it was something about man…Well, now I’ve learned something. At any rate, I think this fits the situation well, in the fact that had Vera’s parents known what would have happened they wouldn’t have wished it to. I do think that the lyrics are too severe and pessimistic. Maybe I lack the understanding because I am not a parent, but I couldn’t agree with removing the life. I’ve had some pretty crappy stuff happen in my life, but as bad as it was, I would not take it back. It makes me who I am today, and I am proud of who I am. I’m sure my parents are reading this, and they know to what I refer. I would honestly be a bit angry if they felt the way this song does. It’s too extreme, of course, no one wishes demons on their children, but it is an unfortunate part of life. Is life still worth living, of producing? Yes, I believe it is.

“You might face your demons, but I’ll closet mine.”

It’s something Vera says, but it’s something I thought. Demons make us human, and demons can make us angels.


3 thoughts on “Writing, Teaching, Music & the Loss

  1. Pingback: Deleted December: Scene 1 | C Giovanni Writes

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