Some Day. . .

    

     

Gratitude List:
1. The interesting visitors continue: On the way to school the other day, I saw a groundhog that had climbed into a pair of bent-over saplings. It was contentedly chewing on the leaves of one, about three feet above the ground.
2. Re-reading my January journals about my vulture dreams gives new depth for contemplating healing, transformation, and grounding.
3. Tomorrow is the last of the school commitments–then finish grading and sail into summer.
4. Senior dedication and Commencement ceremonies were beautiful and tender and inspiring. Now they fly on their own. This was a sweet class. Solid. Steady. Earnest.
5. Companionship. Hospitality. Warmth.

May we walk in Beauty!


Sunday’s Notes and Quotes:
“I feel like I’m binge-watching the fall of the Roman Empire set to the music of Benny Hill.” —Bill Maher
***
“We will not know our own injustice if we cannot imagine justice. We will not be free if we do not imagine freedom. We cannot demand that anyone try to attain justice and freedom who has not had a chance to imagine them as attainable.”
―Ursula K. LeGuin
***
“Each of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm. When we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.” ―Maya Angelou
***
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” ―L.M. Montgomery
***
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” ―Jorge Luis Borges
***
TS Eliot:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
***
Resignation
by Nikki Giovanni

I love you
because the Earth turns round the sun
because the North wind blows North
Sometimes
because the Pope is Catholic
and most Rabbis Jewish
because winters flow into springs
and the air clears after a storm
because only my love for you
despite the charms of gravity
keeps me from falling off the Earth
into another dimension
I love you
because it is the natural order of things.
***
“The third near enemy of compassion is idiot compassion. This is when we avoid conflict and protect our good image by being kind when we should definitely say ‘no.’

“Compassion doesn’t only imply trying to be good. When we find ourselves in an aggressive relationship, we need to set clear boundaries. The kindest thing we can do for everyone concerned is to know when to say ‘enough.’ Many people use Buddhist ideals to justify self-debasement. In the name of not shutting our heart we let people walk all over us.

“It is said that in order not to break our vow of compassion we have to learn when to stop aggression and draw the line. There are times when the only way to bring down barriers is to set boundaries.” —Pema Chodron

A Blessing in Blue

Gratitude List:
1. Around a corner down the ridge, I caught a flash of blue in the road, and an indigo bunting burst into flight. A blessing in blue.
2. The summer’s first monarch.
3. Graduation. Beautiful, earnest young folk.
4. Huge bales of hay in a green meadow, and the evening sun casting their shadows across the grass.
5. My dear friend Marie gave me lots of sea glass that she collected over years on trips to Maine. During the last two days of school, when the seniors had gone, my one Creative Writing class was down to a handful of students. They spread out my sea glass and picked out their favorite pieces–I told them they could take lots. Then they placed what was left in the glass jar in colored layers. This treasure, given to me by a friend, is a treasure I can share with my students. We talked about how appreciating sea glass is about finding beauty in the brokenness. The glass has to be tumbled in sand and waves before the sharp edges are worn down and the surface is worn to softness. Like us, of course.

May we walk in Beauty!

River Has Her Pathways

 
River has her many pathways.

Dear Shining Girl,

You stand poised in the limbo of doorway, and the light nearly shines through you, prisming the water in your eyes.

The hallways have emptied, but for that cluster of your friends who can’t quite say goodbye.

And you, like a forest doe, still pause on the threshold, ready to bolt at hint of danger.

It has been a season of words, and I the purveyor, the pusher, the cataloguer, the demagogue of vocabulary.

But I have no words for this transparent glimmer of invisibility you wear, for the way this grief has caught you by the shoulders, the way your words suddenly lock themselves into that golden cage of your throat.

Your giddy group of comrades bounces down the hallway and you take a step out of the shadows. Their joy is a distorted mirror of your misery.

When you go from this woodland of words and the solace of chums, who will See you? Who will know who you are?

Take heart, Shining Girl. Let those words that have caught in your chest like a trapped bird beating against the windowpane–let them fill the hollow spaces until there is no more space to fill, and then they will burst forth, radiant as your name.

I will be listening for that moment.


The last day of school is so exciting for so many of us. For some, however, it is a return to uncomfortable places, long stretches of loneliness, days of not being Seen. I need to remember that not everyone is experiencing this riot of joy.


Gratitude List:
1. Dedication for the seniors this evening. Glorious group of young people, about to be unleashed upon the world. They’re a force to be reckoned with.
2. Last day. It’s a big relief for me.
3. Icarus oriole still sings from his treetops, often enough that in my short forays into the pollen-infested world, I can hear him sing.
4. Empanadas–somebody’s mother left us empanadas in the Faculty Lounge. Oy. My.
5. Lunch was Vietnamese food provided by our wonderful principals. Delicious, and a great chance to connect with colleagues before separating for the summer.

May we walk in Beauty!