Monday, May 31, 2004

I have sat down at the desk. It's filled with files, folders, file pockets, and these little spiral notebooks with pockets in them I like to keep. I've decided to throw away the used spirals. But before I do, I read them to see what it is I'm throwing away.

Here is something I found:

I suppose my mind goes to moments and to people, former students, discussions about MLK's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" or John Cheever's "The Swimmer." Students curious or baffled, but more times than not, excited. Learning is beautiful to me. We stretch ourselves. It is hope. It is understanding. And it always involves exchange. It can't be done alone. There is goodwill inherent in that.

These are notes I made while an applicant for the NYC Fellows Program. I knew the job would lead me someplace different. How far away from this place it's taken me. I don't love learning anymore. I remember feeling that way. I remember how clear I was as a teacher and a student back then. These two years have convoluted my thinking, my writing, my teaching, and my purpose. My zest is warn down as well. Reading what I used to write scares me a little. I'm sloppy now. I lack control. It's like seeing your handwriting deteriorate.

But I also know I'm not that far away. I can get it back.

Teaching these children has taken the student out of me, but it's given me other things of equal value. I do not write these things to bash my experiences. I'm noticing the differences and the trade-offs.

(at this rate the packing will take all month)

Sunday, May 30, 2004

I've been opting out of the blog lately myself (opting out--one of the things I hate). But it's transition time, and life is in upheaval. The changes have already begun. I'll be teaching two writing courses in about a month, one that surveys a range of writing styles, and one that is predominantly a response to literature class. I've never taught any lit before, so the fun is just beginning.

But for now, I'm sitting in limbo. My job awaits me, an apartment, G-30, is there for me, and a new friend I will be meeting for the first time the week I arrive will be a new part of my life. It's a vista over yonder that I'm viewing from here, a half-empty apartment beginning to fill up with boxes.

My left eye finally stopped twitching after returning from Houston this past weekend. I'm not sure why because the challenges of the move weren't exactly quelled based upon knowledge gained there. I suppose gaining more knowledge, whether good or bad, helps one to know better how they are standing.

The idea of Houston at this moment is of bayous coiling through city streets, abundant green shading glass and steal, and pockets of neighborhoods--their discovery as exciting as the culture within. I'm perfectly happy with inhabiting this new city, which shouldn't be such a shock to those who know me well. Give me something unfamiliar to come to know, and you got yourself a happy girl. But, it's Houston afterall. It's mainstream. It's sorority girls grown up to be decorator moms. It's malls, malls, malls, and subdivisions busting out the seams like a row of pristine soldiers all shined up, mimicking one another down the line.

A few years ago there isn't any way that I would be able to appreciate anything about Houston. I would have noticed only its trappings. I would have complained about the lack of. I wouldn't have found my place. It's all based in that idea of being ready for something. We all know when our time comes, when our needs change. Mine usually take a year or two to move from inspiration to fruition. But for some, an instant can take them past a hundred byways. I'll let you know how it turns out on the other side. I wonder if I'll still be orange.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Time to write again. But if I do I'll likely be up all night. I haven't been sleeping lately, not soundly. My mother is wondering why I have anxiety about the move. Told the brother about the sleep troubles, and he perks up, asking, "Changed your mind?" I miss my children when I say goodmorning, or, "quiet on the line," when I pat their backs. I've taken to the hard pat lately, the one my mommy always gave me. I just pat them hard to press it in. (Of course you can also find me screaming,"What's going on here!" or "Close your mouths!"--my favorite. It throws them off.)

I'm leaving the children part, and the adventure part of my little life, with all of these people here, for the digging in, as Lulu wrote not long ago. I want to dig with my hands. I miss you already. All of you. All of it.
Loved reading Bekkah's "Cinco de why-o" history link today. Check-ih, check-it out.