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Required Reading: In a Small Bag, She Packed Our Hopes (Modern Love)

(Let's try something out for a change. I must admit I haven't been able to read as much books for leisure as I used to because of law school. But often my "literary craving" is satiated by a really great article, story, or essay I come across in the Internet. As you may know, I'm more of a long-form fan more than any other kind of writing, and while I appreciate novels, it is almost usually this structure that appeals most to me, as someone who reads and someone who writes. So I guess this is my attempt at sharing that to you guys. Here goes: Required Reading.)


I've been a fan of the New York Times' Modern Love series for quite a few years now, and I can honestly say that every single time, each article makes me go, "Damn, I wish I would have written that." Not necessarily because I could relate and not necessarily because anything similar has happened to me, but because each one is so wonderfully crafted - in a very easy, light, but nonetheless profound - it makes me want to try to write the same way, if only I had the time.

I haven't really come across an article in Modern Love where I truly identified with the writer and the kind of love she was writing about. (I guess the loves that I've had aren't very... modern?) 

But I've always believed that that's an indication of a great piece of writing: when it doesn't necessarily affect you directly on an emotional level, but it actually makes you want to go out there and write, just because you feel that the piece has revealed something to you in its form. Somewhere between those lines is a style, is a rhythm. And you just feel compelled to recreate it.

This article is one such example.

"How love reveals itself is sometimes a slow process, the gradual accretion of all the seemingly mundane acts of kindness, sacrifice, mindfulness and even bad behavior two people share. Sarah's act was an instance of what love looks like, stripped of all the usual bells and whistles. To have the opportunity to witness that, regardless of the circumstances, left me feeling like a fortunate man."

In A Small Bag, She Packed All Our Hopes by Tim McEown

It's always the little things, isn't it? And how the smallness is magnified by the prose. How I long to keep writing with the same kind of power, the kind that amplifies and finds meaning even in the quietest of things.