A Journal of the Plague Year: #4

It’s only been four days, but I miss my students, I miss my student teacher, I miss my colleagues, and I miss that building, oddly enough, perhaps, the most constant and stable thing in my adult life, my school and my classroom like another home. Meanwhile, the sun shines, the dogs get another long walk. Another beautiful day on which to ponder this darkness.

Every once in a while, in my professional capacity, I get riled up about something. On Wednesday, March 11, a single day before we learned schools would be closed, I attended a morning staff meeting that irked me to such a degree that I did the thing I usually do in such circumstances: I began an open letter in order to air my grievances. I was committed and passionate and insistent about all the things that went (as I perceived them) wrong during that particular staff meeting. I had decided to share it with my bosses. I spent hours on this thing. And almost immediately after learning that schools would be shut down, my indignation totally deflated.

If nothing else, in these strange times, incomparable for me to anything in my entire experience on the planet, we tend to winnow through stuff that concerns us to find what we hold most dear, find most important and life-giving, and let the rest fall away like chaff. Maybe someday, that indignant feeling about bad staff meetings in an otherwise idyllic working environment (outside of the intense difficulty of the job) will bubble back up, and I may have an opportunity and an obligation to speak. But right now, all I want to do is read, write, make music, love my family, do the odd thing that needs doing around the house and yard, walk the dogs, ride the bike, and recite poetry.

I seem to be gravitating toward my all time favorite poems, as one does. This one: the first Mary Oliver poem I ever heard and the one I come back to over and over, “Wild Geese.”

8 Comments

Filed under Education, Poetry, Reportage, The Plague Year, Writing and Reading

8 responses to “A Journal of the Plague Year: #4

  1. Hey friend, thanks for posting during this time. I’ve been reading every one of your posts and showing my kids the videos of you reading the poems. Keep it up. It’s nice to know how life is going for others during this strange time.

    • Lorien! Thank you. It’s good to hear from you. I hope you are well and safe. Take care!

      • Well, friend, it’s strange to be a suddenly unemployed yoga teacher, when yoga teaching has been such a part of my existence for 15 years. Something feels terribly wrong not seeing my students, not being with them, not guiding them to move and breathe and relax. I’m wondering how everyone’s mental health will hold up through this!

      • Yes. I feel similarly about my students and my work–even though I am blessed through this not to be “unemployed.” It’s hard, no doubt.

      • This is your penultimate year, right? So this is almost a dry run of retirement! (Except not, because hopefully you won’t be confined in your home and worried about some contagion when you’re retired).

      • Hey Lorien, this is my THIRD penultimate year in a row! Yeah, I’m hoping retirement won’t be quite like this!

      • Oh wow. Your third penultimate year. Who is the record holder for penultimate years? Are you going to break the record?

      • It is my greatest ambition!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s