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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Relentless Frenzy

What's this? Wait, this is familiar. It's been a while, but I remember this. I hate this, but I can handle this. I'll just sit for a minute, and it will pass.

Five minutes go by...

It's still here. Hmmm, okay. I'll go hide behind my desk and try to relax, try to will it away.

Ten minutes pass...

People are noticing. I can't hide it, and I see the worry in their eyes. I've done this before. I'll be okay. I can't seem to shake it though.

Thirty minutes pass...

I listen.
"What does he think?"
"We should call someone. This isn't right."

I hear the walkies, the conversation.
"The ambulance is here."
I've lost. I couldn't will it away. I wonder what it could be? Is it really something I can't understand?

Bumpy roads
No lights
No siren

--"Hello Mrs. Hubbard, let's go over your information. Have you had any other symptoms? When did this start?" Etc. Etc. Etc.

Hours pass...

--"Everything came back okay. If you are feeling better, you can go home."


That was my afternoon yesterday. A jarring and startling pain that caught me off guard. A spasm that I've had on many occasions, but it's been so long since I've felt pain like that.
A reminder.
Yet, everything is fine now.
A fluke?
I don't know.
Better safe than sorry but frustrating none the less. A reminder that sometimes we don't know what is happening to us. Sometimes we are reminded of those who care about us, for us.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dreaming of Questions

I wonder, if beings are capsules, what do they epitomize? I have experienced many bits of life, and many bits of life await.
If our dreams are representations of our experiences, how is it we can experience, in a dream, bits of life which we have not encountered? Chased by a bear. Falling from a height. Flying from a string.
I suppose all such experiences are a culmination of our sensations. I mean really, what is a dream but a representation of just that, sensation.
Intense fear. Immense love. Gusts of joy. Fleets of sadness.
A dream is the encapsulation of all these. Bits of life squeezed into a moment.
Acute ideals swept into our sleep. Realizations of wishes wanted and just out of our grasp.
I wonder, what dreams have I yet to meet? Are we dreaming enough? Have I let my mind wander to the risks outside of my grasp?
We say, "Dream BIG!"
But, a big dream rarely comes to be without little dreams along the way.
Have a sweet little dream. Let it grow.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Noticing the Immeasurable Bits

Such a funny thing,
to watch stories step out
from behind clumps of lines...

Kneeling in the dirt
troweling bulbs,
I gather clustered ideas.

Looking up above,
whisps of white
write across a pink sky.

No burdens over me
of format or rules,
just words from my day.

I watch the letters,
they dance over my fingers
clinking and clicking together.

All just little bits
of immeasured life,
waiting for the curtain.

I breathe in a breath,
eyes shut I exhale, open.
Audiences the same, but I am not.

Poetry has been on my mind lately. I can feel those words piling up in places that have been a bit vacant. I look around at things, at stories, at people, at situations, and the words write and swirl around. Like little tornadoes of poems flying and out of control. I've got to somehow catch them all and close them in a notebook to settle down and sort out later.
Are they poems?
Are they feelings?
Is there a difference?

"Writers must...take care of the sensibility that houses the possibility of poems."
~Mary Oliver 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

For Writing's Sake

I've been working on a short story. It links a trip I took to my Great-Grandmother's hometown in Missouri to a fictional tale of her meeting her best friend Maureen as a young girl. I was spurred by a writing contest in my state that was open to my students and decided to write alongside those interested in joining the fun. I've never entered a short story contest. It is a bit outside of my writing comfort zone if I have one of those. I've struggled and still struggle to find the story. I've written many little scenes and I'm not really sure I'll finish in time to submit the story I hoped would come but either way, I hope I finish it "enough" to send it regardless.

When I began writing slices many years ago, it is what opened me to the idea of how difficult and how simple writing can be. I wrote little pieces of my day. I wrote about experiences in the classroom. I found stories. What I'm finding now is that searching for stories in my daydreams is more challenging. It's a good stretch for me and has reminded me that I need to write small if I am ever going to write big.

Some might say that writing for an educational audience, like the one that comes with being a co-author at Two Writing Teachers, is writing big. It is big. It allows words I've thought, said, and written to be read. However, I have always believed that the best words are often the ones that begin for ourselves. I'm wandering back to those woods. It's chilly there but welcoming, and eventually, I'll be warmed again by the swirl of ideas that come from writing. Writing long and short. Writing for writing's sake.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hydrothermal Vents and School Culture (Yeah, I Just Did That)

As human beings, we can experience temperature changes in different ways. 

It's hot. 
"Ah, feels so good, so relaxing."
"Oh blah, it's so sticky and awful."

It's cold.
"Oooo, (squeal) snow is coming."
"Gah! I hate the cold."

More than likely you, like me, have spoken a phrase somewhat matched to any of these. The point? We get to decide how we will respond and the fact that either of these responses is often possible it makes one think a bit. Well, I should say, it makes me think. 
The other day my daughter was reading an article about ecosystems, and she was having difficulty with some vocabulary related to hydrothermal vents. My meagerly informed summary of these vent formations goes a little like this. The vents form when cold seawater seeps below the ocean floor through tiny cracks. When the water becomes superheated from magma, it reemerges to create these vents. It turns out that some organisms thrive in these conditions. 

We read and reread the section a few times to fully grasp the ideas presented. I realized part of her misunderstandings were related to the fact that the idea of organisms surviving conditions like extreme heat seemed impossible. To imagine vents within the ocean floor providing this heat was outside of her experience. 
The ocean provides many spaces we have explored and spaces we have not. It is fascinating to grasp the enormity of its composition. 

I don't know how my brain works but we read this article, and in my mind, I began comparing the ocean floor to a school's culture. Cracks occur. Well-meaning drops of water seep and become heated due to exposure, and their only way out is to vent. When these droplets reemerge they transform their surroundings. Organisms thrive on the poisonous metal deposits and can develop rapidly. 

Venting is necessary. The ocean makes a place for this, and yet it is so vast that it also makes spaces for beautiful reefs and shorelines. You get to decide. Within the ocean of your daily life, you can choose where to vent. Choose wisely. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Nice to See You Again

Little boy
boots too big
waist cinched
by brown cords
too tight to clip
too much yours
to let go
with a crinkled brow
in each inch you rise
examining your stride
navigating your steps
you risk your feelings
spilling them
from capture
a soul
you thought no one saw
you thought lost
laboring through the day
born anew
with eyes open
seeing the world
for the first time.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Watching Progress Step by Step

It's hard to believe that nearly nine months ago we lost our home. Within all the tears, fear, and unknowns we continue to come up for air. Watching the progress has been both exciting and confusing. I say confusing because the circumstances create mixed emotions. It's difficult to watch so much good come from something that was so horrific. Yet, so much good has come.

We still have a long way to go but upon returning from our ten nights of camping yesterday Shawn and I went to take a peek at the progress. We now have tile on the floor in the bathroom, air conditioning is in, new duct work, electricity is hooked up and working, and so many other pieces are falling into place. They think siding will be soon. Soffits and fascia were going up while we visited.

Shawn and I continue to be grateful for the many things we have been 
afforded following this event in our lives. We have a beautiful home to live in while ours is being built. We have friends and family from all over who have come to our aid. We have been surrounded by love, understanding, and care. It is a beautiful thing to witness so much kindness.
As much as I wish this had never happened and I wish the constant worry, stress, and pressure to work through this whole process would end, we will have a beautiful home when it is all over. We will all be together and back in our home. I cannot thank each of you enough from this community who helped us early on way back in November. Your support did not go unnoticed and I appreciate your kindness and generosity. My Two Writing Teachers team was unwavering in their support as well and I could not ask for a better group of people to work with on the blog. My school community helped in so many ways, easing my mind as they took care of my classroom and at times my own children.

Visiting the house today, after being away for a stretch of time, reminded me of how far we have come. Each day we are a little closer to our move in date and each day we are a little more healed. My feet are weary from all the steps it has taken to get here but I suppose we can all keep going as we approach that finish line. Step by step.