January 30, 2018

I heard Janet Wong speak at the National Book Festival a few years ago. She said four words that stuck in my mind. “Writing relieves the memory.” I thought how often that has been true for me. Whether writing in a journal, on a calendar, or on a list, there is an accompanying peace knowing that whatever “it” is, is written down.

This week I found that writing not only relieved my memory, it relieved something much deeper. I woke on January 26 with heaviness I could hardly bear. It took every ounce of willpower to get myself to work. I had a full day ahead and was anxious about the weight I carried with me.

I entered my classroom and shut the door. I sat down at my computer and drafted bits and pieces of what I was battling inside. Then I left it on the page. Writing was the relief I needed to be able to proceed with my day. I returned to that writing tonight and revised a bit.

I think I will share it here and thank you for reading.

1.26.18

Winter demons pound on my door.

Seductive voices call me to yield to the dark.

“Just slip into our arms and rest,” they say.

“There’s no expectation here.

No growth required.

Nothing to care for.

Give in.

Just give in.”

 

It might be easier.

It might be warmer under blankets of darkness.

After all, I know these demons—

These familiar foes–whose cold oblivion never provides.

 

The sun smirks as she withholds heat.

She allows wind the upper hand.

I draw inward and glimmers of light

Hush the demons’ alluring call.

 

January 23, 2018

Tuesday’s Joys

The soft, damp air of a balmy January morning

The pride on first-grade faces when spelling said

The noticeably longer bit of daylight

The (okay, I admit it) chewy lump of caramel from a handful of Milk Duds

The empathetic, sincere letters second graders wrote to Ox from Gazelle after reading

Product Details

(It might be a new favorite book and a must read for all ages)

The intense pleasure my daughter finds in watching Top Chef

The few moments to spend here with you, my writing friends and mentors

 

 

 

 

January 9, 2018

Having given myself both permission and the challenge to listen through my OLW, I am finding a new freedom from the need to say something. In a very personal way, the quiet is leading me to deeper understanding of the people I am trying to love. Listening is providing me time to reflect on past conversations as I rethink the sounds and meanings of words I have heard and said. I’m realizing that I have so much to be grateful for. I also have need to acknowledge those blessings. I believe listening to those I love creates a gentle respect and awareness of their individual worth.

This gives me hope.

January 2, 2018

I was shocked when I pulled up my blog and saw that I hadn’t written since September! It’s time to begin again.

So, I’ll begin again with my One Little Word (OLW) for 2018. It’s a simple word: Listen.

Listen before speaking.

Listen for what is said.

Listen for what is not said.

Listen for beauty.

Listen for change.

Listen between the words, in the small spaces where meaning breathes.

Listen to rain, birds, wind, footsteps, frogs, and all sound.

Then, listen in silence.

I like this One Little Word.