Exercise 6: final message- write a final message that your character might receive after the death of his/her father‘s death.
Peter opened his father’s safety deposit box as he was instructed. His mother gave him the key after his father’s funeral with the instruction to open it immediately, before the reception.
Inside the box was an envelope with his name on it. Inside, he found two pieces of paper written by hand by his father, which was important, because his father seemed to do all his writing on a word processor. He sat down in a chair to read what his father wrote.
I know it’s hard to believe, but as your father, it was never my job to tell you how to live your life. My only job was to inspire you to make the right choices while keeping you safe. Now I’m going to give you one final piece of inspiration. Remember this, and pass it on.
When I was ten, my own father gave me a book of poetry that I have treasured these past 30 years. Inside the front cover he had written something that he said I wouldn’t understand for several years, but the meaning would become clear as I get older. This book, and the journal I started the day you were born, are yours. Your mother knows where they are, and will give them to you at the reception. I wish for you to continue writing in your journal, of your life and what it teaches you.
Now I will give you what my father wrote in that book, and the meaning, in hopes that you may be as inspired by it as I have. I will give it to you fully, and explain the three parts; separate but connected.
‘Thoreau’s Journal August 28, 1841:
True verses are not counted on the poet’s fingers, but on his heart strings.
My life hath been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and live to utter it.’
Line one: A poem written by the hand cannot truly capture the essence of the poem written in the heart. (That doesn’t mean you shouldn‘t try to capture a part of it)
Line two: From the moment you are born, to the moment of your death, your life is the poem of your heart.
Line three: I admit to seeing two things in this. The first is if we spend all our time trying to write down the poem of our heart we will never have the chance to live because our heart’s poem is constant. The other thing is since our heart never stops writing the poem of our life we will never be able to finish it ourselves.
Of course this is the message I received from it, and this has been the inspiration that has kept me writing poetry. I have given you what I can, the rest is up to you.
Live well, be inspired, and be an inspiration,
Your loving father.”
Peter left the bank with tears running past his cheeks, and the envelope in his hand. Half way to the reception he pulled the car over, got out the note pad his father told him to always carry, for ideas, and began writing a poem.