Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Two Questions Considered


I offer these two questions to consider:

What is making you feel connected and purposeful right now?

What are you missing in your life right now?

 I ask them because I am considering them myself. Deeply. Introspectively. Not always delightfully.

Here are my answers to the two questions I posed above, in list form. And a little bit of how I came to ask myself these questions this morning.

What is making you feel connected and purposeful now?

Taking care of animals. Even escapee goats.

Giving up sugar.

Opening up the window right after I've showered to feel the cold shut every pore.

Daily practice in writing and movement.

As much as we all malign the time spent on it, Zoom. I love playing in it, learning, and finding the opportunities for closeness and sharing.

Clowning projects.

Watching trees bud.

Hearing the snow melt.

The NYT Spelling Bee game where I hover in ranking between "Amazing" and "Genius."

Real letters received. Real letters sent.

Having a role in a play this weekend, and the play hasn't been written yet.

Doodling after teaching. 

Planning for outdoor events at the Wunderbarn.

The anticipation of a Bouffon class with Eric Davis. 

Nearly everything my students say and create. 

Zoom glitches that lead to creative moments.


Jointing cardboard together. Making something move that didn't before.

 Piano music.

Talking with a mentor.

Reading poetry and children's literature.

Salads for lunch from greens we grew. Mustard!

Dan and I sharing "Genius" level in the NYT Spelling bee.

The hope in a schedule that has outdoor events, and an upcoming spring performance.

Writing this.


What are you missing in your life right now?


The coughs, mutters, and settling in sounds of an audience.

The house lights going down, and then something magical happening.

Seeing eyes without ring light reflections in them.

Actual eye contact.

Being able to make a date with a friend to collaborate, and be in the same space together.

Dance classes.

Crowded green rooms full of strangers and friends.

Eating a meal I didn't make.

Travel. Even packing.

Being in the same physical space with students.

Seeing/hearing a playground packed with kids.

Sharing a snack with someone. Or a drink.

Scent of others, even the less than good scents. Bad breath, unwashed hair, body odor.

Conversations with strangers encountered in public places. There's much less of that.

Seeing a person's whole face. 

Emoting with my whole face. My eyes get tired of trying to say/show it all.

My sister.

Hours in the library, or a bookstore.

Being able to buy a coffee out somewhere without thinking whether or not the indulgence will be the thing that kills me.

This morning I was writing when I began to daydream about a classroom moment years ago. It was a middle school classroom where I was teaching poetry to 8th graders, and it was near the end of my classroom visits. A student who was just on the brink of summoning the courage to read his poem to the class needed some support. He stood trembling in front of his classmates. I walked over to him and just stood nearby, right at his side. I didn't say anything. I was just present for him. He began to read.

The physical closeness of teaching moments is gone right now for me, and might be for a long while still. I mourned this loss, sobbing, for about twenty minutes this morning. I took my glasses off, and let myself get hit with a tidal wave of grief, balling up tissue after tissue. I was somehow surprised by this.

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