Call me modernist if you wish, but I really don’t know how to inhabit life without my own personal interests, memories, and desires, all working together to create my perception. Yesterday my daughter wrote, You love luck. She’s a perceptive one, but that is hardly a secret. I am obsessed with lucky objects, from a penny found on the road to any number of things that seem to ignite good fortune. I am equally obsessed with avoiding bad luck or drifting into that storyline. Not like I play the lottery, but if I am able to wrap up my work day with enough time to enjoy the outdoors under a moving canopy, I consider my fortune to be worthwhile. This week I’ve had a string of days with such luck. Hiking, running, biking and even a woods walk, all skirted between rain bursts.

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when it all comes tumbling down, there is us

When it all comes tumbling down, there is us. Between tropical hurricanes, and devastating south Asian floods, and politicians messing with Dreamers, there is us. Holding on to a thin thread. Waking in the dawn to go through the routines of life. Time to deconstruct problems, to formalize conflicts, to ask those why questions, all flit like butterflies in our mind as we wait at red lights or on post office lines, but with never enough time to think deeply enough. Because solutions take longer than a moment. We need silence. Staring. Stopping. And when can we ever manage that? I fear that living has shifted into something so swift that none of us can even question anything. Do it quick and move on. Congress shores up the government for three months and calls it good enough. We mail off a check to the Houston Red Cross and sigh relief. We hit high heat on the microwave and call it dinner.  Afterwards we click the button on the controller and let our babies stare at the screen with us. Prefer to text, not to talk. Scroll through the news-feed liking every back to school shot without even looking to see their timid faces peering over their new backpacks and lunch sacks. We’re on the move to nowhere. Tumbling down. Thankfully the earth is there to catch us.

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“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go” (Hamlet).

odyssey_mapNovels and plays populate my mind, rolling by in a continuous cycle, thanks to my being a literature teacher… All these words marinate, year after year as I teach the same texts, yet are born anew while I share them with my students. Through the years I have come to appreciate how these well-told tales sustain me and feed my passions and lead me to question life’s tribulations. As my students face these texts for the first time it only deepens my experience of them.

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