Yesterday was fall (the season is currently fall, but yesterday was especially fall-ey). It was brisk and overcast, and the leaves looked like a screensaver on a loop—they just kept falling. The wind smelled like the forecasted rain, as we drove across a half dozen Chicago neighborhoods during rush hour.

We pulled up to a red light in our big fifteen-seater van full of college students. Because we sit higher than everyone else, even in the middle lane there was a clear view of the Boost Mobile store on the corner, and the blow-up, one of those tall stick men that waves his arms back and forth and flops both ways.  While we were sitting at the light, a big guy (lots of ice cream kind of big, not lots of weight lifting) wearing a black shirt came out of the store. The shirt had printed on it the words “man of the hour.” He slowly bent over and picked up the electrical cord at a joint between the black cord of the blow up guy and the orange extension cord. In his hand he had a piece of duct tape. It was about a foot long, and he was trying to put on the joint, probably to keep the joint dry in the coming rain. The wind was blowing it around and he kept trying to straighten it with his already full hand.He frowned and chewed his bottom lip.

Then the light turned green, and I couldn’t watch the end of the story.

This is why we need writing. Writing is like the Instagram of the literate world. Writing is how you record the stories that you see all around you every day. The beautiful seconds, things both poignant and gentle, the moments that bring tears to your eyes and you’re not sure why.

A picture says a thousand words. But a thousand words can tell a story that brings delight to your heart, or puts a knot in your throat, or fills you with resolve to do bigger and better things.

And we need those emotions. We need writing.

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