As you might expect, The Moment by Smith Magazine packs a lot of emotional punch, as writers of all backgrounds relate “the moment” when everything shifted for them. What I found fascinating in this small book collection of 125 stories is how any of the moments seemed to take place during the middle school years. A comment from a teacher, a new friendship (or an old one, crumbling), a choice made (or not), a bit of advice from a parent …. in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade, these events can take on monumental significance.
It reminded me again of the role I have as a teacher, particularly if those “moments” are taking place right now, in my classroom, in my presence. The students may not realize the importance of it now, but later, if they have any of the reflective abilities of the writers in this fantastic collection, they will see it clearly for what it is: a life-altering moment in which everything can change.
The online Smith Magazine has been putting out some great books lately — I still love the various Six Word Memoir collections such as Not Quite What I Was Expecting — and The Moment (billed as “the instant your life changed”) ranks right up there. I was touched at many points, and even teared up a few times. There is a raw honesty in so many of these stories, and yet, so many were of an affirming nature, too. Lots of the moments in our lives are about hardship, but also, about the ways we dealt or at least accepted these situations and moved on to better things. And people keep sharing their stories. There is a whole section of the Smith website for folks to share their own moments on the website, and they do.
From a writing standpoint, particularly for older writers, The Moment would make an excellent mentor text. The stories are short and powerful, and very accessible (although a few have more adult themes, so teachers should cull from the book, not use the entire text, in my opinion).
Peace (in the many moments),