I love this article — both for introducing me to the “hermit crab” concept for re-imagining an article AND for doing such a great job of reframing the living kindly concept. Kudos to Donna for this excellent article.
“Every once in a while take out your brain and stomp on it—it gets all caked up.” (Will Rogers)
My friend Kathi introduced me to the concept of a “hermit crab essay.” The term was coined by essayists Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola and refers to writing that—like a hermit crab living in the shell of another creature—uses an entirely different form to convey the narrative. It might be a recipe, a police report, a to-do list, or countless other structures. Here’s an example of self-exploration in the form of a personality quiz, and another addressing romantic temptation in the form of a medical diagnosis.
I wanted to try my hand at hermit crabbing, so I have attempted to write operating instructions for living a kind life. Thanks for indulging me and thanks, Kathi, for introducing me to something new.
Operating Instructions for the Commitment to…
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Thanks for the kind words, Tim! And for reblogging. I’m looking forward to seeing your hermit crab post!