“With literature, as with the arts, as with faith—and life—there is really no good stopping place.”
–Dr. Richard H. Cracroft
I took the quotation above from an article published in my alumni magazine by a former professor of mine, Dr. Cracroft. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, he taught the Wallace Stegner senior course, and that class shaped me as a person, a reader, and a writer.
I love this quote because I think I expect, or hope for, good stopping places. A nice photo finish to an event; a clear and natural tapering to something, an obvious denouement. But it’s not like that in life. It’s not even like that in books.
Even after we close a book, or finish writing a novel, the story goes on in our minds; we turn it over as we try to sleep; we move it forward as we wipe the counters, change the diapers. We leave it alone but come back to it and pick it up again.
I have crossed paths with Dr. Cracroft several times since I took that class. He lives close enough to me that sometimes I see him in our church building; I am always delighted, as I think we all are, when we see a teacher who truly changed our learning and our lives.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about letting my teaching license expire. I’ve kept it up for eleven years and right now there are many demands on my time (and keeping up a license requires taking classes, tests, etc.). But it’s hard to let go. For years, I dreamed of becoming a Dr. Cracroft or a Marilyn Fotheringham (seventh grade reading) or a Jeana Rock, Louise Durham, Joyce Oldroyd, Jon Ostenson, or Karen Brown (teachers who mentored me when I was a beginner). Reading this article made me realize that perhaps there never really is a good stopping place for the things we love.
As always, Dr. Cracroft has given me a great deal of food for thought.
The article by Dr. Cracroft can be found in its entirety here at BYU Magazine.
P.S. I’ve responded to all the comments on the last post. Many thanks for sharing what you love right now!