Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Four Days

I dreamed about school last night. Which is a sure sign that my subconscious knows vacation is nearly over.

Today, I interviewed for a summer writing workshop for teachers. If all goes as I hope, that is how I will spend half of my summer.

I went into my classroom this morning in preparation for the interview to grab some student samples of approaches that I use and could demonstrate for other teachers. It was eerie to be at school without the usual buzz of life there. At the end of the summer when I go to put the room together, there is an energy and there are a few early people wandering around and popping in to ask about the summer and comment on the expanses of black butcher paper that I use to cover the walls. But today, there were only phantoms. I glanced out the door—my habit— expecting to see familiar figures walking across the outdoor stage toward the office, or rounding the corner into my door. It was quiet. Still. Fences were closed and locked. Such a stark contrast to the noise and pulse there will be Monday morning. I am still on vacation, which means there are still s'mores to be eaten over outdoor fires, Nertz games to play, and an ocean to commune with, but the prospect of school resuming is not a bad thing. There are kids to check on, and a precious few more weeks to spend with them before graduation.

Now, another poem because it is April. Each time I read it, I see something new.

Now I Understand
Linda Gregg
Something was pouring out. Filling the field
and making it vacant. A wind blowing them
sideways as they moved forward. The crying
as before. Suddenly I understood why they left
the empty bowls on the table, in the empty hut
overlooking the sea. And knew the meaning
of the heron breaking branches, spreading
his wings in order to rise up out of the dark
woods into the night sky. I understood about
the lovers and the river in January.
Heard the crying out as a battlement,
of greatness, and then the dying began.
The height of passion. Saw the breaking
of the moon and the shattering of the sun.
Believed in the miracle because of the half heard
and the other half seen. How they ranged
and how they fed. Let loose their cries.
One could call it the agony in the garden,
or the paradise, depending on whether
the joy was at the beginning, or after.


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