Harbor Me – Responses

I read Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson last month, and next week I will have the privilege to see her live in Fairfield, CT.  A group of us “Slicers” are going!  I thought I would “slice” a bit about this book in order to prepare to hear this amazing author speak.

Harbors.  We all need harbors….safe harbors…..places where we know we will be protected, at least for a while….places where the storms are kept at a distance…..places where we can be ourselves….places where we know people will love and care for us whether we are at our best or at our worst.

It is this kind of environment that the six high school students in Woodson’s novel yearn for, need, and begin to create for themselves after they are thrown together by an incredibly rare and very perceptive teacher.  A teacher who creates space and time and then gets out of the way.  A teacher who believes in the power of talk.  A teacher who trusts her students to navigate life (with just a little bit of adult help).

As I reread the novel in order to think more and write about it, I find this line:

“Once there were six of us.  Once we circled around each other, and listened.  Or maybe what matters most is that we were heard.”

I think that’s it.  A harbor is a place where we can feel heard.

9 thoughts on “Harbor Me – Responses”

  1. What a great opportunity for you and your group. I love Woodson’s writing, and I love that you recognize the importance of preparing to hear a speaker. The quote you chose is perfect, and I agree with you about being heard.

  2. I think that is all anyone wants, to be heard. I have had this book on my “to read” list for a while and decided yesterday was the day to begin. Since I have liked all of the books I have read by her, I am sure I will like this one too. I hope your evening was all you hoped it would be.

  3. I cannot wait to read this book, and I’m so glad I read your post to remind me to get started on it. I love the quote you chose. Being heard is such an important part of feeling safe.

  4. I love the idea of harbors. Thanks for making your writing the source of a post about reading. I do not agree that lists or stream of consciousness posts are not stories. I think anytime you are brave enough to put your words out into the world, you tell part of your story.

    1. I am trying to tell my stories in so many different ways….that’s kind of the fun of it…I’m trying to find the way that works best. Stories are complex and come in so many different forms.

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