Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grief and Cinnamon

1. Two people I know and love died this week, and I keep smelling cinnamon on the walk to work.

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver

2. Van Gogh got grief right:

Sorrowing Old Man (at Eternity's Gate)

Although, I might revise the pose to a fetal position under heavy, twisted blankets.  And I see he forgot to paint tissues scattered on the floor.  Tsk, tsk.

3. I don't know how to teach anymore.

Can I just write this on the board and tell the kids to meditate on it?

That might require a little bit of teaching, but it should be fairly simple.  To elicit the word 'meditate', I will just start doing it.

Okay, maybe not so simple.

And is it possible this question is in the accusative?  Or is it just me a) trying desperately to get it to relate to grammar and ESL in some way, or b) feeling a bit touchy because I lack direction?

4. This happened in class today: 

from deviantart.com

My tenth graders and I were talking and learning about dreams.  The kind you have at night.

Laci - What if your whole life was actually a dream and you woke up like a baby?
Me - Ooooh. Maybe this is a dream. Maybe we're dreaming right now...
Gabor - This dream sucks.


5. In summary, that is a good word/sound/feeling for my current state: ouch.

Last night the sky split open in fists of thunder and shards of lightning and today the air is gray and thick.  I don't even have to come up with my own metaphors.

I keep thinking I am done crying, and then I'm not.

I have decided to 'joyfully participate in life's sorrows' and grieve, which is fine and everything, but after about 5 minutes of it I can't really tell the difference between Jessica In Grief and Jessica the Rest of the Time.  

Should I be concerned?

from earlvagary.wordpress.com

6. Woody Allen said it best: "I'm not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens."

That's reasonable, right?


from onlypositive.net

7. Maybe it's a little bit like this:

from skirt.com

I sure hope so.

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