Lake Erie Ink

I haven’t posted to my blog in so long I’m ashamed.  The main reason is that I’ve been working on a new novel.  Another is that I’ve been volunteering at a Lake Erie Ink, a not for profit organization.  LEI’s mission is to “provide creative expression opportunities and academic support to youth in the Greater Cleveland community.”   Amy Rosenbluth, the Executive Director asked me to jot down some thoughts on why I volunteer there.  I thought I’d share them with you.

Initially, I volunteered because I’m a writer and fell in love with the idea of helping children discover the power of creative thinking.  That’s still the case.  I often find myself awed by the amazing creative instincts these future authors possess, but after thinking about it more, I’m changing my answer to pickles.  That’s right.  You heard me, pickles.

Today’s world today moves so fast and is so cynical, it can make your head throb.  We are bombarded with conspiracy theories, useless information, celebrity hook-ups and a thousand other distractions.  The news is no longer the news, it’s entertainment, and it breeds cynicism.  After watching our nation’s capitol come to a gridlocked standstill, sports heroes bolt the hometown in pursuit of the almighty dollar, senseless school shootings, greedy corporate behavior, and countless other actions that our grandparents could never believe, we’ve all become more jaded, and more guarded, than we’d like.

What does this have to do with pickles?  How is it related to Lake Erie Ink?  I’m glad you asked.  Today, I showed up a few minutes past three and helped prepared the snack (cheese puffs and choice of Clementine or fruit cocktail).  I joined the sixth grader room, where the kids were doing homework.  The talk turned to pickles, a continuation of last Thursday’s chat when a jar of pickles was discovered in the cabinet.  That discovery triggered a lengthy discussion on pickle virtues, a topic so enthralling to the sixth graders that even the weekend couldn’t banish it from their thoughts.

To hear them talk, you’d have thought that the kids were talking about Beluga caviar, or taking a ride on Richard Branson’s space taxi, or winning the World Series.  For those kids, at that moment, the thought of a nice juicy pickle was their entire world.  Nothing else mattered and they were happy, just thinking of pickles.

I miss that innocence in our lives.  Lake Erie Ink brings it back, for me, and that’s why I volunteer.  I think I’ll have pickles for dinner.

Till the next post,

Chris

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