Little Moments

“We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people’s lives,” said American poet Robert M. Pirsig.

In the busy common room of the Covenant House Crisis Shelter I disclosed to some kids that I had tried rapping, just writing lines. I was hoping this announcement would encourage someone to share their own talent. Instead they asked me to produce some work. Telling myself that this was an opened door, I retired to the back of the room and quickly wrote a few spontaneous lyrics. The kids advised 16 lines and as much rhyming as possible. This I did, but I wasn’t off the hook. I then had to recite! I plunged in. The kids nodded to the beat. So far so good.

“They’re bound to take a turn now,” I thought to myself. This did not happen. Not that week. The moral of the story is patience! Two weeks later one of my listeners asked me if I’d done any more rapping. I said I’d hoped instead to hear from him! He then launched into a well prepared rap presentation which he’d already performed in public. We then went on to have a great analytical discussion about his subject matter and where robbery might lie in the evolutionary scale of moral development.

My efforts were not first class literature but it did matter to me that a kid said he’d needed to hear the words.

“We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people’s lives,” said American poet Robert M. Pirsig.

In the busy common room of the Covenant House Crisis Shelter I disclosed to some kids that I had tried rapping, just writing lines. I was hoping this announcement would encourage someone to share their own talent. Instead they asked me to produce some work. Telling myself that this was an opened door, I retired to the back of the room and quickly wrote a few spontaneous lyrics. The kids advised 16 lines and as much rhyming as possible. This I did, but I wasn’t off the hook. I then had to recite! I plunged in. The kids nodded to the beat. So far so good.

“They’re bound to take a turn now,” I thought to myself. This did not happen. Not that week. The moral of the story is patience! Two weeks later one of my listeners asked me if I’d done any more rapping. I said I’d hoped instead to hear from him! He then launched into a well prepared rap presentation which he’d already performed in public. We then went on to have a great analytical discussion about his subject matter and where robbery might lie in the evolutionary scale of moral development.

My efforts were not first class literature but it did matter to me that a kid said he’d needed to hear the words.