Offer What Is Yours

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Last night’s dreams were about hair and stones:
1) Walking down the halls of school, suddenly everyone has really long and wild and crazy hair, some down to the floor, some curly locks tumbling over shoulders and cascading down backs. I wonder if they get frustrated with it always in their eyes, always in the way. But I like it, and wish my hair were longer and more wild and curly.

2) Then, I am in a friend’s house and talking on the phone. While I am talking, I lie down on her thick plush carpet and begin pulling the jewelry and gemstones out of the carpet where she has lost them. Druzy green emeralds, bright pink rhodochrosites–actually, most of them were raw emeralds, not clear like high quality gems, but milky and full of powerful energy. The rhodochrosites were also pretty raw, two finger-long thin stones. Emeralds for love and hope and prophecy. Rhodochrosites for love, creativity, and intuition.

I love dreams of hair, because I feel like they’re always about the things in my head that want to grow and expand and come fully into being. And I love dreams of finding things because I think they’re about making inner discoveries. I am exhausted and overwhelmed in waking life right now, feeling like I have had to put my creative self into a coma in order to make it through the dailiness. It’s such a great relief that my dreams promise that the Sleeping self still exists, that she is working even as the workaday me is trying hard to keep all the balls in the air. It does not escape me that the hair dream took place at work.

(Note: This is not meant as a complaint about my life or my work. It is the current reality. I love my school and my students and my colleagues. My life is very satisfying in many ways. I do need to figure out the balance that will allow the Sleeper to do her work in daily life. I will manage that sometime, perhaps when the next stack of grading is done, and the next, and the next. . .)

“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.” –Mary Oliver
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
What can we give besides our prayers and rage?
And what will that avail?
Send out the story on October winds.
Fling it high, where crows are flying.
Send the message echoing into earth
with every pounding step you take.
Let the shells of your ears gather the story.
Reel in the gossamer strands of the tale
and weave them into the veil you wear.
Listen for the stories of those who weep,
those who rage, those who only speak
with the shrug of a shoulder,
with a sigh, with a shudder.
Listen, too, to those who walk right in,
who step into your circle without invitation.
Listen to the voices that are hard to hear.
Offer only the bread that is yours to give.
Be like the old gods, with the raven Wisdom
on one shoulder and Memory on the other,
and Reason perched upon your hat.
Offer what is yours:
your rage,
your prayer,
your watchful quiet heart.
–Beth Weaver-Kreider
“The world didn’t have to be beautiful to work, but it is!” –Mary Oliver
“The words you speak become the house you live in.”
“A child looking at ruins grows younger but cold
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips in the sun.”
– W. S. Merwin, The Love of October
“I lack the peace of simple things,” says Wendell Berry
and I concur, almost, because
of the frenzy of the daily commute, because
of the the houseful of stuff we don’t need,
that we trip over in the darkness, because
of the way I am so lost in doing all that must be done.
But Wendell, you know better than most how it’s all around us,
how you can settle your soul into the simple peace, because
of those flaming leaves falling all over my head, because
of the giggle of a five-year-old, because
of sleep, deep restful sleep, because
of the way the corn tastes yellow, but the beans taste green, because
of the way words weave and twist themselves
into something that means something akin to hope.
–Beth Weaver-Kreider

Gratitude List:
1. This girl: She came into my room after our early dismissal today. She’s been trying to find a teacher to help her start an Aevidum Club, to support students who live with depression and anxiety. I already have more clubs than I know what to do with, and I cannot commit. She comes to talk to me anyway, as a sounding board. “I want to do big things,” she says. And she doesn’t mean that she wants fame and glory. She means that she wants to make a difference in the world. Oh yes, Bright One, you will do big things.
2. Parent Teacher Conferences. It’s a long and tiring day, but I love sitting down with parents and talking about their teenagers. We gush about these young people, we problem-solve, we sigh together, we hold these Shining Ones in our hearts.
3. UNICEF Club. There weren’t enough chairs in my room for all the kids who want to be be part of doing good in the world. If we can wait long enough for this batch of young people to start taking over the world, I think we’ll be okay.
4. Geese flying south. Part of me is flying south, too.
5. Dreams that are messages.

May we walk in Beauty!

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