Responses to prompts. Surfacing identities. Reflecting on how identity shapes my views of self. Boiled down to a rubric.
Early signs abound. Soybeans turning yellow. Maple leaves unveiling hidden cartenoids. Poplar leaves eager to be the first to touch the grass. A weekend without blades cutting the lawn. Whitetails turning gray, their presence lessening as the hunt approaches.
Pausing over divots left in the ground.
Walking the ground in search of more pauses.
A line a day. That can’t be too hard, right? Hell, there’s an entire market for things labeled “A Line a Day.” Journals, diaries, coffee mugs. I think even a drug trade may have used this as part of its marketing strategy, but I could be wrong about that.
Anyway, I’ve decided to give it a go. You know, write a line that holds in it the space of my day. The loud spaces. The silent spaces (oh, the silent spaces!). The confused and chaotic. The angry and hurt. The joyful and peaceful spaces. After awhile of writing these lines, I’ll see what story they tell. For now, though, I just need to write. Something. A line, maybe!
My brothers and I used to make light of the worry my Mom had when she knew that the three of us were traveling in the same car. Yesterday, I heard Madeline say to Karen, “I can drive Ellie to the Swing In; I need to attend, too.”
Sorry, Mom; I am so sorry. Now I know…
I am all about consistency. Predictability. Staying the course.
Wait. Let me start over.
Until this morning, I was perfectly comfortable ignoring this blog for at least another 4 months, since I was well within one standard deviation (S.D. 251) of the mean of the number of days between posts (~127 days).
And then I received this message today: “_____ just started following you at https://ktme.wordpress.com. They will receive an email every time you publish a post. Congratulations.”
“Congratulations.” Really? Do you realize how much pressure this places on me? Congratulations?! Crap.
It’s not that I don’t want followers or this follower in particular. Quite the opposite. I really respect the person who has decided to follow this blog, not to mention the work the person creates. Poetry, wonderful poetry. Poetry from Iowa, no less.
But I don’t want to disappoint anyone, or at least anyone else. And certainly not a follower. So I will do my part by posting again. Soon. As within one standard deviation above the mean.
As I have grown older, I have found it ever-so-slightly-more-difficult to sustain focused attention and thought. I try, though, in so many facets of my life — from my interactions with my family, to conversations with colleagues, and in my contemplative practices.
One of today’s particular opportunities for sustained focus and thought occurred during the second session of the book club in which I am participating. We’re reading Palmer and Zajonc’s The Heart of Higher Education, and the particular challenge today was in sustaining our focus on the various dimensions of the rationale for integrative education. Certainly, we touched on several potentially complex topics, such as spatial relativity, reductionism, and epistemology. The temptation was to step around these topics and move, instead, to questions of “How do I do this in the classroom?” Or, “Here’s why I can’t do this in my course.” We experienced what Palmer warned us about — namely, a “…rush to technique, to problem-solve pressing educational dilemmas, (which) can obscure the indispensable need for a truly adequate foundation if our pedagogies are to serve the real aims of higher education” (page 61). I think we’re beginning to build this foundation. We just need to give the cement time to dry.
I’ve debated this long enough. “Time.” That’s all that is needed.
“Time,” for the title, that is. At least that was my original point of reference, as in, “My, how time flies!”
But, clearly, there are other references. As in, “Time stood still.” It’s been four years since I last posted to this blog. Four years! Four. Years.
Which got me wondering, what’s the record for the longest time between blog posts? I don’t have a lot of, um, time, to look into this, but one guy wrote on his blog, ” Well folks, I just broke a record (not a good one) for the longest time between two blog updates. It was not unusual, I regret, to skip a week between updates, but I’ve now managed to skip two weeks!!!” I probably have better things to do with, well, my time, so I’ll leave it with that.
But, holy jesus, four years!
I wish I had a compelling reason for going silent these past four years, let alone for breaking that silence now. To the latter point, I did just come from the first session of a discussion group for the book, “The Heart of Higher Education: Transforming the Academy through Collegial Conversations. It was a nice discussion, er conversation. It was really nice having Fran, Brooke, Ali, Kirk, Scott, Warner, and (if even only for a short time) Dan there. I facilitated this first session, so it’s a little hard for me to judge how it went. I don’t have a ton of experience facilitating book discussions. I tried to create space for open-ended, talk-about-what’s-on-your-mind conversations, while also being a bit prescriptive with some of the time we had together. I had a few discussion questions ready, some of which we used. We have three more sessions planned, and two of those will be facilitated by other members of the group. I am really looking forward to participating next time in a role other than that of the facilitator!
Meanwhile, I don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands, so I’ll stop here.
Apparently, blogs don’t write themselves. Nor do the projects, e-mails, reports, doodling, and other goings-on of this working person. I wish I could say that all of that and more got in the way of writing this blog, but, well … Wait a minute. This is my damn blog and all those things did get in the way of writing this thing. Oh, that and forgetfulness, dread, apathy, lethargy, and a dose of dysthymia.
Speaking of, I told my good friend David I would try to publish my little creative writing effort in which I use the word “dysthymia.” If I don’t get it published, I’ll post it here someday.
Back to work.