Good morning on the first Saturday of my transition from my teaching year to the rest of being a poet for the spring and summer. Yesterday I completed the K-12 teaching schedule for 2009-2010 and I am ready to unpack my suitcases and travel totes for a few months.
I noticed, when I logged in, that I have received 1400 hits to the site since I put in the counter (Thanks Linda E. for still another resource!). Although I have no idea how visitors get to me, other than those of you I know, I am delighted. Thanks. I would be very grateful if you passed on the link to my thoughts if you know anyone who may be interested.
This year is has been the second year of my independent status as a teaching poet. Although the past 5 months of my concentrated teaching time has been demanding, I now have the freedom in life to attend to some of the aspects of being a poet that I have had to deny for many years of working a day job:
Reading: Between meeting the time demands of working a more traditional job, even if it is in a more creative field, and the amount of reading nearly any job I have worked has required, I find that pleasure reading slipped into an oblivion for a long time. This is regrettable because reading is so intrinsic to growing as a writer. Now I recognize that part of my “job” is to read…anything…everything. If I sit with a book for a morning, I have to remind myself that I am working.
Gardening: When I was a young poet, the last time I remember seeing my materal grandfather, Cleveland McConnell, at a family reunion, he took me for a short stroll away from everyone for a few moments. It is one of two times that I remember speaking one on one with my grandfather about who I am as a human. That day, on the shore of Oneida Lake in upstate New York, he told me, his first grandchild who yearned to be a poet, “Georgia Ann, if you want to be a poet, you need to do two things in your life: live in the country and grow a garden.” He explained that the lessons of these two experiences at some point in the writer’s life will contribute to a greater sense of the craft. After 10 years of living in my home, my first garden of my own, I enter this 11th growing season with a calmness but eager to pull weeds, mulch, balance my rocks, redefine the patterns, feel the sun on my back and hands.
Journaling: I go in spurts but it is easy to get busy and neglect the pen and the purity of the next page waiting to be filled. I wonder if journaling is a cure for arthritis? It is good for my hands and my soul. I cannot possibly capture everything daily that causes me to wonder, marvel, or freak out. But I find peace in the process and sometimes I get too busy.
Being Still in Meditation and Observation: Nuff said there. I will strive for more. The world is a beautiful moment. I must deepen this connection more regularly as I move through my existential development, cherishing this quiet Saturday morning more and more because, in truth, it is all any of us has. Now if I could just learn how to sleep soundly again. I lost that capacity years ago.
I wish you all peace, power, and poetry. I will write more of the miracles of my school year and all the incredible moments with students I experienced soon. Right now, I am going to be quiet for a few and let this new morning sink in a bit, knowing that I will not be anywhere but home on Monday morning. I urge you to do the same.
P.S. To assist you on the transition to quiet, take a moment to view this YouTube video from the Hayden Planetarium! It is humbling and beautiful. Michael Wiggins, the daily blogger for the Association of Teaching Artists, posted the link and now I share the wonder with you. Thanks to the Planetarium for creating it and to Michael for sharing! Go now…into space…with this short film, The Known Universe from the American Museum of Natural History:
Thanks again for following my blog. I appreciate your consideration of my words and thoughts.