This semester, Big Sky’s junior high and high school students had the option of participating in a three-part writing workshop with Elke Govertsen, the publisher of Mamalode magazine. The workshops were offered as part of the HATCH Storytelling Series, which brought accomplished writers to Big Sky to speak to students about the craft and impact of storytelling. Lone Peak High School junior Bella Butler (essay) and freshman Eva Paulson (poem) won the writing contest that was held in conjunction with the Storytelling Series.

HATCH is an invite-only conference where creative types from around the world gather to network and “catalyze creativity to hatch a better world,” according to its website.

A Self-Reflection

By Bella Butler

I was a person who struggled to find the significance of one person in a world when there are over 7 billion. How the millions of breaths an individual will take in a lifetime could change the air we all breathe. I was that person, until I met her. Atop a hill in the lonely blackness of a December night. She was planted in the driver’s side of a ‘97 beat up Cherokee, her bottom molded into the worn seat from many long drives to nowhere. Lights from the town below the hill appeared as twinkling stars in a dark sky, so far away that they almost weren’t real. It was cold. I first heard nothing, a rare silence filling the shadows of the witching hour. But when my ears could not hear, I began listening with my heart, and the noise was deafening.

A story played out before my eager eyes. Humbling mountains surrounded the girl. They were meant to keep the sufferings of the real world out, but all they seemed to do was trap them inside. She calmly ran her hands through the clear waters of the Alpine spring, but the dirt she had acquired on her hands rejected the pure treatment, and the filth remained. There were echoes of voices from far away. . .but that’s all they were, echoes.

I held my breath, waiting for this girl to crumble into pieces and become part of the ground beneath her, but instead, she grew taller. She paced forward, chin up and chest out. She continued on until she was suddenly out of my vision and into my world. Her face was close, intimidating. All of a sudden, there was something so whole about her brokenness, and so familiar about her struggle. She reached out for my hand, and I shook it until I was overcome with a new strength I had never felt before. I was meeting myself, and it was the most liberating moment of my life to date. On that hill on that December night, I realized my significance in this vast world had been defined; I changed myself, and that was quite enough.

Time Never Slows

By Eva Poulsen

Time doesn’t stop for the weary
Life keeps it’s ever going pace
Even when times are dreary.

Time doesn’t slow for a pretty face
It just rolls on and on
You can never win this race.

Time doesn’t speed when all is gone
Holding every painful second
Until, for you, there is none.

Time doesn’t linger to reckon
That is for you to do
Even when temptations beckon.

Time is nothing old or new
It has only been
Even when there was no view.

Time does not know sin
It does not know any purpose
And it does not have an end. . .