The First Day of No School

Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance….

Nothing Wasted: Of Slides and Research Papers

Friday morning, and the playground is deserted. Since I teach only one class today and Timmy is hard at work in the counseling department at school, Friday mornings I stay home with Luci. After what feels like a month of freezing weather and sickness, we’ve seized our health and the balmy temperatures and walk across…

Angelina & The Lupine Lady

“That is all very well, little Alice,” said her grandfather, “but there is a third thing you must do.” “What is that?” asked Alice. “You must do something to make the world more beautiful,” said her grandfather. “All right,” said Alice. But she did not know what that could be. In the meantime Alice got…

The {Not Terribly} Simple Life

Friday I come home for lunch. More precisely, I leave school shortly before lunch, to pick Luci up from friends’ house, where she’s spent the morning playing with twin two-year-old boys. These boys spend another weekday at our house, where Timmy runs a three-toddler circus with extraordinary energy and humor. Whenever she’s going to spend…

Speaking

“What’s a fear you’ve overcome?” my student asks me from across the desk. “Public speaking,” I say without thinking, and she raises her eyebrows. Though we’re in English class, spending the day filling out interest surveys by engaging in an enthusiastic round of “speed dating,” this particular student is also in my Public Speaking class…

Windowsill

Compared to a handful of brilliant students and colleagues, I write poetry with neither frequency nor remarkable talent. Still, sometimes, every other year or so, it happens. Because sometimes prose would take too long, and there are moments that require only a few words, written over and over again. This week has elicited many moments…

Jet Lag

Monday night, 11:00 PM, and Luci has decided it’s time to be awake. Only our third night back in Germany, it promises to be just as dramatic as the first two, when our one-year-old daughter wanted to roll around our bed for a few hours in the dead middle of the night, before falling sound asleep and…

What Mary Knew

It’s Happy Hour. Not the Happy Hour of years past, but Luci and I have developed our own five o’ clock rhythm lately, while Timmy is at basketball practice. Luci sits in her high chair in the kitchen, while I make dinner and serve her bits of small food, a few pieces at a time,…

Walking

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24 These days are about walking. Teacher preparation starts in two days, and school staff are filling our town…

Yours Also Is the Night

Yours is the day, yours also the night;     you have established the heavenly lights and the sun. Psalm 74:16 “I am one acquainted with the night,” writes Robert Frost. I know this poem–its images wet and grim, its refrain mournful and lonely–well enough to teach it, well enough for the few questions that appear on…