Lately, I’ve surrounded my classroom with poetry and gratitude. I’ve found that which surrounds often slips into the cracks of your soul, peeks out from under the covers, whispers behind your left ear as you go about your day.
It slides down your throat like honey, soothing a throat sore with complaining. It cushions the hard wooden seat, cracked with fidgets. It is a belt loop bigger or elastic waistbands after a Thanksgiving feast. Or flannel pajama pants after a long day of hose and heels. It is triumphant music that swells overtop the daily grind of what we must do.
February is normally a month of gray mornings and empty evenings. By cuddling up to some silent poetry reading and journaling about gratitude every day, I have renewed my passion to be here, in the moment, with my students. Revel in the everyday.
“Person” by geralt is shared under a CC.0 license
In 2017, I lacked balance. I often found myself neglecting one area of my life in order to perfect another. I also found that perfection just outside my grasp. It seemed as if only I reached a little farther or dug a little deeper, then I might have reached that brass ring. But like many, overreaching just led to falling down. Perfection is just not something I can ever hope to attain.
In my ever elusive search for perfection, I found myself neglecting parts of my life. My family and my personal health suffered. As I found myself trying to pour from an empty cup, I knew it was time for a change.
This year, I am returning to center. I need to find the time to balance not just my work, but also my family and my health. I need to find ways to let go of the need for perfection so that I can focus on the attainable.
I present to you my #oneword18: balance.
“Finding Balance” by woodleywonderworks is shared under a CC by 2.0 license.
Image attributed to https://www.flickr.com/photos/freedomiiphotography/
An icy wind tickles the inside of her hooded cheek. To protect her hands, she tucks them in her defiant pockets. She is resolute. Relentless lights sear her eyes, and it is not his absence she regrets. No, it is not his absence that makes tears well up, that adds weight to her steps and folds the collar of her coat up to her chin. It is merely the chilling reminder that winter is not yet over.
The above represents a literary nonfiction exercise, where my students use sensory details, imagery, simile, metaphor, and personification to make a photo come alive. Since they are interviewing a person in the community and writing an analysis of how well that community has survived conflict, and because I do not know the people that they plan to interview, this description will become vital to “hook” me into their writing. I can’t wait to read what they write!