Mississippi Moments

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Teacher Dreams or Crows with Bedfeathers...

I get to imagine that this is a new chapter or heading for my book. I have fun with it. I have been on the road more than this body should be the last week. During those drives, when I am not Pottering myself, I am thinking, singing, musing, pondering, chewing, fussing, wishing, usually some more fussing, outright grousing, grieving, letting go, laughing some, and wishing I could write while I drive. I wonder if that's how Annie LaMott did it? Does it.

So here's the first random thought of the written day---why, when I spend careful minutes, cleaning, filling, and freezing Kongs and other wonder-chewies for this brat dog, does he crawl under and through the dust bunnies of a living room chair to gnaw at the moldy, gross, stinky kong that I lost two weeks ago instead of the balanced dogfood/organic chicken/onion-free gravy one that I put on his clean towel? I hope he continues to exhibit the guts-of-steel he seems to have been born with. Most shelties do not have this. They are a mess. Inside, outside, and all over. He has picked up one very Sheltie habit from his jaunt with Super Sheltie Issy--he now barks at everything, real and imagined at the windows. I have never noticed this before. And this is after a 5 mile walk this morning already.

I have been trying to get back to my up at o'crack of dark thirty risings and simple enjoyments. More successful than not lately. At least I can find my shoes, can make the coffee, and go walking in the predawn. Then I get to wake up gradually as the morning sky changes, the crows go off to their daily capers, a few Canadian geese honk off in search of better lake digs, and I revel in the moon waxings. Then as I continue to stagger around, the late crows, I imagine, with bedfeathers from waking up late, take off in the same direction, giving voice to their tardiness and aloneness in that dawn sky. I don't like to walk in the dark, but it takes me several weeks/months to accustom myself to the coming dark. I have learned this through living the seasons and living the seasons inside of me. I am at my healthiest and most balanced when I accustom myself to what is coming. Kind of like arsenic. Build up some kind of resistance. From another perspective, it is a kind of pseudo-control. Over nothing because I have learned that there is very little over which I have any authentic control. Choices are another thing entirely.

There are dreams and then there are Dreams and then there are DREAMS. This is about Dreams and dreams. The Dreams are coming in loud and clear through the dreams. Obviously, I still want to teach. My dear Mary J. and I chuckle at this time every year. Teacher Dreams. Involving students, learning settings of every variety, some aspect of unpreparedness or unimaginable expectations being expected or exhibited, attempts to correct the situations to no avail (usually) and to wake up because the dream is on auto-repeat. And the sense of no rest. And out of breath. And then relief to know that it was only a dream....only a dream. My latest ones are in a swimming pool. With lots of kids. And I am supposed to be teaching social studies and language arts while we are swimming. The creative thing about this is that I actually start coming up with ways to make this happen using the game MARCO? POLO! and document cameras and whiteboard technologies. And then another one--a panicked administrator calls for a last minute primary assignment with 30 plus kids. I say yes. I have one afternoon to put a classroom/learning environment together. So what do I do? Last night, in dream land, I had a ball planning reading and writing and art lessons using outdated materials--all the while thanking my mother for teaching me to use what was on hand. I learned that less is more. Leaves more room for what needs to be born now. And the world is pregnant. Pregnant for new life. (My brother's twins are due next week and the boy-baby is already over 6 pounds and the wee girl to be born is 5 11. Then there is Brigie's baby girl to be who already owns pink cowgirl boots).Pregnant for positive change. Pregnant for truth and letting go. Pregnant for feelings to have their "voice". (Letting certain feelings go unexpressed gives one migraines and vertigo and panic attacks. It does not last forever. Just as long as needed, then they sit down with tea between Fear, I Am Not Enough, There are People All Around Me and I am Alone, I am Getting Old, What Have I Done with My Life, What Will Others Think of Me and You Can Never Get Your Bathroom As Clean As Lydia Does, What Is Wrong With You..at least that's what my experiences have given me.) I am fighting back with toenail polish, some new mascara, longer walks, freedom to nap, working on something that I don't want to work on for a bit every day, making contact with friends once a week so I don't get overwhelmed, trying a new recipe every week or so, and making responsible choices NOT to listen or read too much news. Where was I? Oh, back to pregnant times. The birthing process is already in full swing by my observations, energetic and otherwise. That happens, too...we are already birthing and energetically things are already manifested. It is rather comical, delightful, and wispy-hairs-on-yer-arms-raising to get that ah-HA! reality that what is already IS. It has already happened for me. It looks like I am staggering around with a deer in the headlights look. Which is true some of the times. But it isn't what has been birthed. That seems to be fairly clear. I am just clearing and working to make manifest what already is. And that mostly seems to be just getting out of the way.

Which brings me to roots. The family funeral yesterday. For a relative who was my cousin and whom I have always perceived as and inwardly called "Auntie". I did not know her well. And yesterday's celebration and remembrance called her One of the most open-hearted, considerate, generous, consistent, loving hearts on this planet. From my experience, I cannot disagree. I am happy that she is free to continue her loving and living in Heaven. Oh, the power of that Love now. This is one of the few living links left of my grandparents on my mom's side. To see my mother and ALL of her siblings huddled together, talking, laughing, remembering, being together--roots. stuck in the ground. For all of my sibs who showed up because it was the right thing to do. For the cousins. For the children of the cousins. For the inmates who came. And the Banditos who provided a Harley honor-guard to the cemetery. For the country youngsters in shorts and flipflops, the older folk in flannel and suspenders, the proud mullets, the union jackets over crisply ironed clean jeans, the church ladies with four rooms of tables laden with homemade maple bars and apple pie....this lady was the daughter of my grandmother's sister. They owned an old-fashioned diner in Lacey for over 30 years, the kind where you are met at the door with "Hello and coffee?" and the spinning stools at the counter. They cooked for the inmates and staff at the the Olympia Jail for two-score years. It was on her farm that I rode my first horse and saw my first animal birthing. It was also there that I saw what happens to chickens. Yesterday, I was not called by my first name--I was called "You're Barb's oldest daughter?". Yes, I am. And I am of this stock. No amount of yuppie accoutrements or letters after my name from a university in the big city can negate that. Nor do I want it to. It comes down to doing good. Doing right. Doing when it's needed. Doing it period. Loretta Jean Nerney lived that. She still does.
Just like the tears and reconnections and tattoos and the dahlias. It all matters.


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