here i am, moving through the days spent at home. aware of the pandemic. mindful of keeping myself and others safe. doing my part to hold the course. avoiding the news, which can be unsettling, and frankly irritating. i do surface from time to time to check in on the world at large, but mostly i busy myself with small acts of domesticity. cooking, books, window gazing, strolling in the garden, drifting from porch to patio to desk to chair.
my morning walks have become one of my greatest pleasures these days. lately, i just take my apple watch and airpods so i can listen to music while i hustle. i’m trying to increase my speed (from slowest to slower) and keep my heart rate up. i leave my phone behind because it was becoming a distraction. i got my apple watch recently – series 3 with no cellular – something to replace my fitbit. i used to focus on the steps and always felt i was coming up short, but now i focus on closing the green exercise ring and that feels both harder and easier at the same time. i feel such a sense of accomplishment when i close all 3 of the rings on my watch face. so motivating!
behind my daily pleasures there is a sense that i shouldn’t be enjoying myself this much, but i dismiss that as a false thought. mental garbage. to be deposited in commode and flushed.
one recent day i pushed the orange chair into the living room and out of the art room where it had been for at least a decade. that caused me to clean the floors and rugs, but since then my housekeeping skills haven’t been getting much of a workout. who cares? things are tidy enough, but no deep cleans have occurred yet. maybe in june! maybe never. we’ll see. i’m open to being struck my inspiration at any moment.
as for school, i am conducting my class virtually, but that has its limitations. the most important thing a child can learn during time away from school is how much one’s own curiosity and interest in the world drives their own learning. i talk about it constantly in the classroom, but it falls mostly on deaf ears. “the most important things you will ever learn will not happen in school.” how often i have said it. as i near the end of my teaching career and have less and less to lose (hah) i sense my impending interest in teaching, not reading and writing and arithmetic, but philosophy. i shall preach the gospel of letting one’s curiosity lead oneself on a path of deep satisfaction. how to be present in the world. let’s sit quietly and breathe now. let’s climb into a magic school bus and take a trip to a forest. an ocean. conduct yourselves appropriately. or not. if you misbehave you will find yourself on the highway with a compass.
the pandemic has brought such a sense of tranquility to my life. with the daily mental wrestling match of classroom life put aside. i now know what i want to be in life and it is NOT in a classroom forcing little people to do things they don’t want to do. my days as a bouncer, babysitter, drill sergeant, and clown are numbered. by that i mean, retirement can’t come soon enough. i am cherishing every single one of these days. after decades of caring for the children of others i find myself alone. blissfully alone. in my own house. with my own thoughts. listening to birds at this very moment.
figure 1. evidence that my mouth took a trip to the dentist. it was unfortunate, but necessary. alas, an infection under an old crown has my mouth making 2 more trips to the dentist in the coming weeks. not an ideal situation during a pandemic, but at least my mind stays here at home where it is safe. the infection and pain are GONE. soon my mouth will be the owner of a new ceramic crown. amen. the end.
soothed by some
palm tree poetry shakespearean sonnets on a recent walk.
what delight i took in these!
there are a good many positive messages scrawled on sidewalks and taped to windows these days. i see them as i walk. i passed one house this morning where someone had written a poem-a-day outside on the walkway. it was written in white chalk. something by shel silverstein. i took a picture in my mind to show you.
when i’m not walking, wandering about the house, or cajoling students into completing more of their assignments, i am out on the porch playing with my ipad and procreate. absorbing.
on my bookshelf
i finished GREENWOOD. thoroughly satisfying. definitely recommend! currently reading MDV. so far so good. if you’re reading something unputdownable do tell.
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a poem to light the way from yayoi kusama.
beautiful thoughts worth reading about LIFE in the time of the pademic.
she is teaching me to use the procreate app which i’ve had for YEARS, but haven’t used much. zillions of videos.
spring in the north of sweden. i long to return someday.