The line between when to share my moment-to-moment musings and when to share my more edited pieces of poetry or prose rears its head. And it is clear that I’m still not really sure what it is that I’m doing with this blog, or trying to do with this blog. So today there is both.
Part of me wants to stay very clean and present in my offerings, the way I would like to be always. Settled. Calm. Confidant. Soulful. At ease in my body.
And really, it has been a bit of a shock to my system to dive back into teaching and a more full work schedule after a summer mostly spent in the garden, in the woods and reading for pleasure. I find myself in a bit of a spin cycle after three weeks blasting full speed ahead. The last several days I’ve been mostly flat – reading, writing, crying, and staring at the wall. Today I was able to dive into some of the things on my list of things to do. I can feel the discomfort of not quite being at peace with my reality and I keep opening the refrigerator, worrying about what I need to do and generally feeling like my skin doesn’t fit.
My unrest is emotional and physical and it feels a bit like holding on to a low grade electric fence. Not enough to do damage, but enough to be uncomfortable. And I do not like it, which I’m sure doesn’t really help anything at all, and is still true. I do not like being at the edge of overwhelm. I do not like feeling myself shut down. I do not like being anything less than fully happy. And even that is only half the story, because generally I would say that today has been a good day. Adyashanti names it as focusing on the dots on the wall instead of noticing the white background behind it. I call it noticing the dirt on the floor that maybe I should mop up.
My creative writing class just had a 14th member join, so now we are officially too big for the library space at the office where we are assigned to meet. What to do about this dilemma is just one of the things on the list of things that need to be tended. And while traditionally school started late in the fall, after the children were no longer needed on the farm, this year school started on August 20 – right in the middle of the prime food processing season and right in the middle of the late backpacking season. I am disgruntled about this reality.
Needless to say, I haven’t gone to pick up the boxes of tomatoes that I was planning to turn into salsa and pasta sauce. Soon, I say to myself, soon. But even though adding 10 hours a week of work doesn’t seem like it should be a lot, I am finding that it is. Plus, in class, I feel like a weaver trying to wrangle the wool off the sheep rather than spinning from a nicely shorn pile.
Am I adding this efforting, or is it simply what is required to hang out with this group of writers and attempting to lead us all somewhere towards better, more soulful writing? Can I let my expectations go of what a good teacher should be enough to stop struggling with the class and let it find its own organic way? Or is this just what is required right now?
They don’t want to be there most days, and I get it. And even if it is a very mellow and cool class(says me), it is school and it is the beginning of the year and they are teenagers and resistance is to be expected. I remember being totally un-interested in my English teacher’s agenda – drawing, passing notes and giggling about something unrelated and in another class, I fell asleep most days.
Teaching creative writing for a year to teenagers is very different than having a 6 or 8 week writing workshop for adults. And is very, very different from simply sitting down and writing.
I harvested basil tonight but instead of making pesto, I put it in the fridge for tomorrow. All good things will happen tomorrow. Tomorrow I will find the source of the sorrow that I feel in my chest and tomorrow I can sit with it and let it speak to me. Tomorrow I will practice the music I should have been practicing all week and tomorrow I will do some dishes and laundry. Tomorrow I will see about focusing on the white already behind the polka dots.