Category Archives: listen

listen and hope.

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I signed his copy of ‘The Tale of Despereaux’ and he said, “My teacher said fifth grade is the year of asking questions.”

“Really?” I said.

“Yeah,” he said.  He took out a notebook.  “Every day we’re supposed to ask someone different a good question and listen really good and then write down the answer when they’re done talking.”

“Oh,” I said, “I get it.  I’m someone different.  Okay, what’s your question?”

“My question is how do you get all that hope into your stories?”

“That’s not a good question,” I said.  “That’s a great question.  Let me think.  Um.  I guess that writing the story is an act of hope, and so even when I don’t feel hopeful, writing the story can lead me to hope.  Does that make sense?”

“Yeah,” he said.  He looked me in the eye.  “It’s kind of a long answer.  But I can write it all out.  Thanks.”

He picked up his copy of Despereaux, and walked away—writing in his notebook.

This was years ago.

Why did I wake up this morning and think of this child?

Maybe because this is a time to start asking good questions, a time to write down the answers, a time to listen to each other really well.

I’m going to get myself a little spiral bound notebook.

I’m going to listen and hope.

-Kate DiCamillo – American author