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Showing posts from March, 2010


It rained today in my Quaker meeting: sun showers that came, and went, and came again. Today was a good one, when I felt that power of love that holds it all together for us humans, and for the rocks and trees and animals besides. When I felt that thing that makes the Quakers quake--or makes me quake, anyway, and makes my eyes run with inner sun showers. Call it God. Call it gratitude. Call it joy. It was my own fault. I sat down in my meeting, and I pulled out Uncle Walt--a book of Whitman's poems. And I turned to one I'd read for the first time just this week, and which I'd flagged to read again one day in worship: O ME! O life! of the questions of these recurring; Of the endless trains of the faithless-—of cities fill’d with the foolish; Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light—-of the objects mean—-of the struggle ever renew’d; Of the poor results of all—-of the plodding and so

Shape Changer

I am more grateful than I can say for the warm weather we've had this past week. With the sun out, and the temperatures rising into the sixties during the day, the snow is almost gone, the streams are high, and there's a riot of life going on in the woods. At the same time, this is March... the time of year just before the main onslaught of the state's MCAS tests and spring fever for my students. Whatever of substance I'm going to teach my students before the year ends, this is it: the last chance to really deliver the meaty stuff. So every day,my head is full of teenagers: raucous, distractable, brightly-colored, enthusiastic, sullen, needy teenagers. From the morning bell to the departure of the last bus, there is very little room for me inside my head these days. Teenagers and their drama take up a lot of space in my life. And it's not that the self I carry through my days is false, but it is partial, maybe a little cramped, like a pair of too-tight shoes.

Wild Geese in the Morning

I sometimes find Monday mornings a bit of a chore. (Doesn't everyone?) Sunday was wonderful; the weather was sunny and really warm, and not only did I find worship at Mount Toby especially satisfying, but friends stopped in unexpectedly in the afternoon, and we all hiked in the woods together. In the evening, I read, did my physical therapy exercises, and watched television with Peter. It was calm and lovely, and maybe trying to cling to the day a little bit, we both stayed up a little too late. Morning felt like it came much, much too early, and I had to remind myself how much sleep deprivation feels like depression to me. Probably, I reminded myself, I didn't actually hate my job, living inside my own skin, or my life. Probably, I reminded myself, drinking my coffee, waking up, and resolving to get enough sleep tonight would fix 90% of what felt hopeless at dawn. So I packed my lunch, wolfed down my bagel, filled my commuter mug, and headed off to work. My drive is about