YWP: Exploring meditation and its discontents

  • Eighth-grade students in English teacher Steven Glazer’s class at Crossroads Academy in Lyme created graphic panels to accompany Elie Wiesel’s “Night” After working with cartoonist Jason Lutes of the Center for Cartoon Studies. These panels were submitted by Nina Marshall, 13, of Lyme.

Age 14, Bradford, Vt.
Published: 11/25/2019 6:05:17 PM

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences in newspapers, before live audiences and online. YWP also publishes an annual anthology and The Voice, a digital magazine featuring YWP’s best writing and images. More info: youngwritersproject.org or contact YWP at sreid@youngwritersproject.org or 802-324-9538.

This week, we present responses to the following challenges: Meditation. Sit still in a quiet place with your eyes closed for five minutes, and try to empty your mind of any thoughts. Does one thought keep pushing its way through? Vent about it or use it as inspiration to write. And general writing.

Prompt: Meditation

A state of simply being

By Grace Nostrant

Age 14, Bradford, Vt.

Meditation –

what does it even mean? To let go.

Why can’t I just let go,

let my mind fade to nothingness?

It’s as if there were a flock of geese

where my brain should be,

with their loud-squawking thoughts

pecking at my forehead —

an unimaginable headache.

I open my eyes, rub my head.

I see everyone in front of me.

The silence is nice, the serenity.

Now I know the answer to my question.

As I sit here and ponder,

I realize that meditation does not mean

to let go of one’s thoughts.

It means to focus, to reflect, to relax —

to simply be present in one’s thoughts.

Meditation is a state of simply being.

Mind music

By Kelly Daigle

Age 17, Bradford, Vt.

I sit in the silence

with the windows open,

the wind blowing gently,

and try not to think.

But the music, the music, the music...


I imagine the silence,

refuse to listen to my own mind.

The absence of anything

is calming, refreshing, and —

It creeps up behind,

the melody inching upon my consciousness

like the song of —

Stop it, Mind.

I don’t want to be listening to the music,

the silent music of my mind

that oddly sounds like

my seventh-grade music festival song ...

The notes stream past my barriers,

harmonies overlapping with —

I box myself in nothing,

hoping that it will be enough,

that I’ll finally be at peace —

Full-force music from the ensemble comes in,

sounds stumbling over one another,

divided and yet coinciding

to create the mystical —

Nope, nope, nope.

piece from the —


I let the music surround me,

and begrudgingly enjoy

the song stuck in my head.

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