Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EST November 15th 2021 

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

For this session we close read an excerpt from the novel Bewilderment by Richard Powers, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write about what was enough because you saw it.”

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

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Please join us for our next session, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Powers, Richard. Bewilderment. (2021) (p.183) New York: W.W. Norton.

I TOLD HIM ABOUT THE PLANET MIOS, how it had flourished for a billion years before we came along. The people of Mios built a ship for long-distance, long duration discovery, filled with intelligent machines. That ship traveled hundreds of parsecs until it found a planet full of raw materials where it landed, set up shop, repaired and copied itself and all its crew. Then two identical ships set off in different directions for hundreds more parsecs, until they found new planets, where they repeated that whole process again.

       For how long? My son asked.

       I shrugged. “There was nothing to stop them.”

       Were they scouting out places to invade or something?

       “Maybe.”

       And they kept dividing? There must have been a million of them.

       “Yes,” I told him. “Then two million. Then four.”

       Holy crow! They’d be all over the place.

       “Space is big,” I said.

       Did the ships report back to Mios?

       “Yes, even though the messages took longer and longer to arrive. And the ships went on reporting, even after Mios stopped responding.”

       What happened to Mios?

       “The ships never learned.”

       They kept going, even though Mios was gone?

       “They were programmed to.”

       That gave my son pause. That’s pretty sad. He sat up in bed and pushed at the air with his hand. But it still might be okay for them, Dad. Think of what they saw.

       “They saw hydrogen planets and oxygen planets, neon and nitrogen planets, water worlds, silicate, iron, and globes of liquid helium wrapped around trillion-carat diamonds. There were always more planets. Always different ones. For a billion years.”

One thought on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EST November 15th 2021 

  1. al3793

    “Did you see that?!”
    “What?”
    “You must have seen them!”
    “What?!”
    “A fleet of helicopters descending all around us.”
    “How could you miss it?!”
    “The wind blew so hard that the tufts from the grasses blinded me.”
    “And you missed it.”
    “Missed what?”
    “They looked like maple seeds, only smaller, more streamlined, and blond, twirling out of the sky. Look they are all around us on the ground.”
    “They are not the usual ones, much smaller and such a slight tan, but they twirled just like maple seeds. But you can only see them if the sun hits them just right. They would look like ordinary seeds coming to the ground, but the fleeting wind that blinded you, broke the clouds letting the sun through just right, just as it sent those seeds twinkling to the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

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