Friday, January 30, 2009

Dumb Dog

Dumb dog, why are you following me?

Mostly just his big puppy eyes follow me around - to see if I'm catching him at his various misdeeds. But he's been kicked around and neglected like orphan Annie's dog. And people think he's dumb. But, those same sneaky eyes have finally started to meet mine when we're working in small group.

His mom is crazy, his dad long-absent. School is a grind for him, a place where he fails, where he doesn't get the unwritten rules - much less the written ones. He is craving safety, craving acceptance, craving a place where he can succeed. He would never say that, but we teachers, we can read it. And I can give him that. I am working hard, thinking hard, advocating and fighting hard to keep minds open about him, to keep people believing in him. So that WE can give him that. A guaranteed education that he can access.

And then, on my other battle front, I am teaching him that a teacher is not always Teacher. We are not flat placards of lesson plans and discipline. We understand, we listen, we see flashes of insight and pull, pull, pull, dredge the depths of brains. Begging for more, helping to shape thoughts, to find words, to think, to self-advocate, to understand.

And he is getting there. He is so close. He is opening up, he is attempting. He is becoming a student. He might even be beginning to believe that he can, he could, he just might... succeed.

He's Making a List

He's making a list
he's checking it twice
He's using exclamation points
about ME!
He's can't waiting
and advanced packing
My baby's coming for a visit

He's coming home
to me
in this place of sunshine
this 300+ sunny-days state
my internal & heart-earned fate
After dwelling in his place of darkness
for so long
he is coming to my light

and I?

I am ready
I am a woman in full
I bike through the sunlight
and claim it as my own
I'm going to baste him in my warmth
He's going to bask in my glow

I'm walking on air
I'm jumping off bridges
This here cloud nine will always catch me

Sing it from the mountaintops
Spread it on your bread
TT is in love.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Canvas

I'm living my daydream. It came to me on today's hike. Okay, so it's only one of the bazillion daydreams that I've had of my life, but how many lives do you have anyways?

I used to daydream that I'd hike in gorgeous mountains every weekend. I used to dream that I'd become a climber. I used to imagine that I'd find my center and let the other stuff swirl on around me.



And check.

A year & a half ago, I remember sitting in my newly-rented apartment - right when I first moved out - drawing myself a web. In the center was me and then the tentacles reached out, pointing to the major portions of my life: my personal relationships, my athleticism, teaching. I thought that drawing the web might help me unify all of those people and things that had only me in common. It didn't. It has taken a year & a half of stumbling through some days, "acting as if" on many others -and just plugging away at my mantra of eat right, sleep right, and exercise - to bring me to this spot today.

The peaceful spot. The pond upon whose surface others' jagged edges may be reflected, but whose ripples are all her own. I have become the glue of that web. I've added some things and removed others, but mostly I've placed myself at the center of it, firmly planted, not seeing in black & white, yet knowing where my lines are drawn - and who will be allowed to cross them.

And (puh-raise the lord!) I'm having fun. I awoke from a dream laughing out loud this week. Two mornings I woke up before my alarm to play guitar - and a third to get out hiking today. There were times over this last year & a half that I woulda sworn I'd never have fun again.

So here I find myself. With this Colorado canvas. And I'm painting.