happy Halloween

I went to school as a nursery rhyme character today. Somewhere between Little Bo Peep and Little Miss Muffet.

Last night I was thinking that I would go as my inner super-hero, complete with bright green underwear outside my pants, and I got the costume all sorted out right before bed.

But alas, I could not sleep. I lay awake thinking obsessively about nothing much at all and thinking about teaching and thinking about why I wasn’t sleeping. I prayed. I meditated. I talked to myself. I got up and wrote. I snuggled against my sweetheart. And even when I did sleep, it was not very deep.

Which is all to say that when I woke up I was not feeling terribly super-hero-ish and opted for voluminous skirts and a bonnet instead.

It also meant that when my creative writing class declared that Halloween should be a holiday and why did they have to go to school? I did not have the energy to create enthusiasm and set them free on the world.

“Be brilliant. Be free.”

I often question my choices when it comes to teaching – Monday was a brilliant class, Tuesday acceptable, Wednesday non-existent. There you have it. But I want to listen to the kids and I want them to know that I listen to them, so if I would have been able to rally today and take us all on a fun adventure, I think that would have worked as a nice compromise for them not wanting to be there, but I couldn’t. So, hopefully they won’t end up homeless and broke and say to themselves, “If only Arlyn would have held class on Halloween, my life would have been better.”

I think they won’t and that we’ll just have to try again next week.

It feels like such a fire, this teaching thing, I hope I’m burning out the right things.

a photo or two

I’m ordering a few photos the hard-copy, old-fashioned way – on my computer.

So I thought I would share a few with you, which is not old-fashioned.

David and I are getting ready to go on tour with FEAST. We have suitcases in the living room and I am about to print a copy of a new song for the program. My red dress is at the dry cleaners and I have set up subs for my creative writing class. Ready, set, zoom. . .

What I really want to say feels generally buried just under my heart somewhere. I want brilliance and beauty and love and profundity and evolution. I want to know that I am in the right place doing the right thing. I want to know that my life serves the greater good and I also want to be sustainably happy. I want to glow with my zest for life, I want to radiate my beauty and strength and courage and wisdom and willingness and I want it to be authentic.

Yet some days there is sadness that lurks at the back of my throat. It says, “there is so much pain in the world. There is so much torment. It is dangerous to be too happy because then there is further to fall.”

This sadness says, “winter is nearly here and are you living your full potential?”

There is a wail in me for all the women past, present and future. There is a wail for all the children. There is a wail in frustration at a species that has gotten out of balance.

And. I take a breath. And another. Until it is clear, I can only live this one life. Until it is clear, I can only do the work in front of me. I pray for clarity. I put my faith in the children. I put my faith in soulful education. I put my faith in living well and in harmony with the earth. I put my faith in music. I put my faith in the simple rituals of noticing the new and full moons, the turning of the seasons. I go to the garden to harvest mullein leaf and lovage root. I practice my instrument. I love.


It is hard for me to believe that my last post was a full month ago. So much for the blogging every week thing, huh?

I will justify myself as such

1) I’ve been very busy – teaching, writing, playing music, hosting my in-laws for a 9 day visit.

2) I’ve been writing a lot, I just haven’t been blogging.

3) Our internet connection is way better on the front porch than in our house (thank you to my parents for letting us use their internet) and a lot of times when I think about blogging, I don’t want to go outside.

4) no good excuse but I’m still not really sure what I want to do with this blog.

5) I accidentally sat on my cat and he ran away and got himself bit and I’ve been tending to him (not a good excuse since it’s really only taking a few minutes a day to put comfrey leaves in his wet cat food).

So there.

From my writing practice this morning –

“What I really want to say is not there when I turn my consciousness towards it. It blew out with the dried leaves and the wind. What I really want to say is lurking in the synapses of my brain.”