I would like to write something simple and clear. Ok--here's what I think I know. I suspect that most of us are struggling through life. We might pretend that we're in control, that we know what we're doing, particularly those of us who have aged and should have learned how to deal with the vicissitudes of life; but then things happen and we're suddenly lost in a wilderness and we flail, looking for some kind of anchor.
I suspect that many of our students are like those of us who are flailing. If you're not flailing, you shouldn't read this and should count yourselves lucky. I'm imagining that if our students know something about this condition of flailing, that perhaps it's a nearly universal condition and that we can join each other in our struggles to find some illusion of an anchor, well, we might help them realize how writing is like the silk a spider throws out, trusting the wind to let the thread find a home.