I had a dream last night that I had been kidnapped. I had managed to escape from the kidnapper, but he was still in the house, and I didn't want him to hear me. I was sneaking around and being as quiet as I could, but guess who else was there? In the inexplicable way of dreams, all of my middle school students. And they wouldn't be quiet. I was shushing them and explaining in a tearful whisper that our lives were in danger if they wouldn't stop talking. They were behaving just like they do at the beginning of silent reading every day, except without that glorious moment when everyone finally relaxes into a book and there's that beautiful reading zone hush. I woke up in a cold sweat.
So that dream pretty much shows you where my mind is these days. I always forget what a job it is to break in a new batch of seventh graders, and we have changes this year in schedule, resulting in different pacing; it's a better fit, but it just takes time to get used to. I feel swamped in grading, as though I never get out from under it. I have no time or mental energy to think a thought.
Someone shared this poem on Poetry Friday a couple of weeks ago, and I've had it open on my desktop ever since. This is where my writing is now; it's not happening. In spite of all the other things going on in my brain, I need to, like Linda Pastan, "decide not to stop trying."
Here's her poem:
Sometimes I think all the best poems
have been written already,
and no one has time to read them,
so why try to write more?
At other times though,
I remember how one flower
in a meadow already full of flowers
somehow adds to the general fireworks effect
as you get to the top of a hill
in Colorado, say, in high summer
and just look down at all that brimming color.
Here's the rest of the poem, including where she decides not to stop trying.
And here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.
3 hours ago