“Feeling a sense of peace and belonging is what we yearn for, at all stages of life. However, it’s during adolescence that we earnestly begin to seek our identity, our place of belonging, beyond our immediate family and community, for the first time.”
- Clare McFadden, Director of Education, Write the World, Inc. Read Clare's full letter here.
Your true home is in the here and the now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality, or race. Your true home is not an abstract idea; it is something you can touch and live in every moment.
—Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh was a beloved Vietnamese Buddhist monk who died, at age 95, this time last year. He is renowned for teaching about mindfulness as the path to find one’s true home in the world. Feeling a sense of peace and belonging is what we yearn for, at all stages of life. However, it’s during adolescence that we earnestly begin to seek our identity, our place of belonging, beyond our immediate family and community, for the first time.
In this issue of Write the World Review, young writers from across the globe explore this topic of finding a true home—in ourselves, our communities and our world.
In her poem “The Theatre is the One Place They Told Me to be Bigger…” Holly Gallagher, from Sydney, Australia, finds she is at home on the stage—a place where she can be her most authentic self.
Katie Starkey, from England, and Rina Olsen, from Guam, each reflect, in their respective pieces, on how those who came before us help create the home and culture we experience today. As Katie observes in “Green Apples,” “… we're all just little jigsaws of other people, you know?”
Everett Lane, from California, US, shares their beautiful and insightful poem about discovering oneself and one’s identity and explores how trying to articulate who we are can be fraught with misunderstandings.
I am trying to trans-late myself
into words you will understand but you will not understand.
Anything is un-trans-latable
if you are a bad enough trans-lator
Genevieve Smith, from Massachusetts, US, captures a feeling of belonging in nature in “On False Spring and the Herring Run”:
But it is March, and the lake only knows the fish and frogs and me. And, I think with a breeze brushing my winter-pale skin, what a wondrous thing it is.
This issue of Write the World Review invites us to reflect on where we feel a sense of home in our own lives, and how we might cultivate this feeling, as Thich Nhat Hanh says “in every moment.”
For teachers interested in exploring these pieces with their students, please look over the accompanying lesson plans for further inspiration. We always love to hear from you about how your students responded to these themes in the classroom. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Clare McFadden, Director of Education, Write the World, Inc