Wednesday, February 20, 2019

To Become Real

The Velveteen Rabbit pg 14.jpg
Christmas Morning
A retired teacher is blessed to think back over the years and remember the highs and lows of teaching. She/he is fortunate to pull up memories of random students and hope she provided them with what they will need for the next years.

I loved it so.

Perhaps some of the many incredible memories are also books, precious ones that shone above all the Sponge Bob, My Little Pony Adventures, and other  books.  Sharing those great books was a shining light I hope they could see.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, illustrated by Michael Nicholas, and published in 1922. It is a Pinocchio book in many ways, but incredible in its writing. When we read it in class, I wept for its beauty.

Here is an excerpt which shows exquisite writing. (I hope you give it a chance and see if you can experience its artistry.):

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others.  He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seam underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. 
He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else.  For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those play things that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understood all about it.

Someday, I hope and wish and desire to be a writer who can see beyond the mundane, and produce writing that makes the reader say, "Oh. So beautiful. Oh. I can see it. I can see it."

The entire book can be found at Or: How Toys Become Rea


Longing for Life

45 comments:

  1. Susan:
    There are those (very) few authors that can truly capture the heart and imagination of the reader, especially readers of ALL ages.
    There are some great classics out there, like the one mentioned above.

    Timeless beauty in the written word.
    Never gets old...no matter how often it's read.

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    1. This is that book. It was published 90+ years ago, and few books can measure up to this.

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  2. A writer who can make things come alive...

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  3. A good descriptive turn of phrase.

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  4. I'm embarrassed to admit, I've never read the book … but that last quote (slide) has been a personal favorite for years.

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  5. We probably all had one particular thing in our toy boxes that became 'real'. It is a lovely story indeed.

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    1. I think back an remember my "real" toy. It was precious to me.

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    2. Actually, after reading the definition of 'real' I come to 'real'ize that I'm real too lol.

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  6. It is one of the best books ever, and i am going to look for my copy tomorrow.

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  7. I love an author who says something. Even if it is several sentences later when it hits you. You my dear have that quality from what I have read. I smile inside when I read over a line (I read too fast) and get ahead and something stops me and I reread for the impact. Yep good thoughts.
    From here,,,, Sherry and jack...

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    1. Jack, it makes me happy that you read my writing. I enjoy seeing others' perspective and experiences in their writing. Writing for the joy of writing is my hope.

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  8. That was one of the things I loved about The Grapes Of Wrath. A normal author would have had one boring book on his hands. But Steinbeck made it so riveting with his language that before you knew it, the story was told.

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    1. I remember when I read it, Steinbeck pulled me in and I stayed there.

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  9. Building a realistic story that inspires emotion is probably the hardest thing to do.

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  10. When my kids started school, they talked about a book the teacher read them: "Love You Forever." I think Genius checked it out of the school library, and wanted me to read it to him. I COULDN'T! I asked fellow teachers with little kids about it, and they said, "I KNOW!" None of us could read it without crying. Even though it IS kind of creepy!

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  11. You can do that, Susan. I love the way you write.

    Your students were privileged to have you as their teacher.

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    1. Thank you. I was privileged to be their teacher.

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  12. That's a beautiful passage; I'm going straight to Book Depository and buy The Velveteen Rabbit, two copies, one for me and one for a grandson age 5.

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    1. He will love it, especially having you share it with him.

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  13. Somehow I never read that book but you have hooked me. Never too late.

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  14. It is not at all a big book. Not a lengthy read.

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  15. In another year or two, our Little Big Guy will be ready for this and I want to be the one who introduces him to it. A favorite of mine and a true gem of children's literature.

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  16. I loved The Velveeteen Rabbit when I was a kid.

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    1. That book and others like it stand the test of time.

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  17. Truly is a skill to bring everything to life with one's words

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  18. How true that quote is. I will buy the book and read it to my Granddaughter.

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  19. Oh this quote is so GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Loved your sharing dear Susan!

    my husband is lecturer in college and i also taught in school for few years

    having lots of students made me learn so much from them to live better life
    i was lucky to get soo much love from them
    i still hae some handwritten cards from them!


    how coincidental that either i can't stop my tears when red a very fine written book :)

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    1. Yes! You give so much of yourself, make changes for others who need a warrior.

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  20. I have never been a teacher in the sense that I was employed as a teacher, but I have taught for most of my adult life, and there is no greater feeling than to think you have made a difference.

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    1. Yes, indeed. Making a difference in someone's life is a calling in itself.

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  21. Thanks for this beautiful story. It reminded me of Patrick, my first dog. I was four, I wanted a dog more than anything. Patrick was my first love, he still lives with me. I think he is made of lamb skin. He still smells just like he did then. And I still love him.

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    1. And you still have him!! He is definitely real.

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  22. Dear Susan, The Velveteen Rabbit has always been a favorite and beloved book/story of mine. That and Paul Gallico's "The Snow Goose." And by the way, I think your writing is exceptional. Peace.

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    1. The Snow Goose? That will a book I want to read.

      Thank you for the compliment, Dee! that means a lot coming from such a fine writer as yourself.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!