Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Flight of Fancy

It’s a whirlwind, and then comes a moment when my students are off at gym class, and I sit with my cup of Starbucks instant coffee, and the sun streaming in on the stack of Tuck Everlasting comprehension questions I’m trying to correct, and one of my favorite songs comes on my Pandora radio station. (“It Might Be You,” the love theme from Tootsie, “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver, or “Muskrat Love” by the Captain and Tennille…it’s a Carpenters-based 1970’s soft-rock Pandora station, and I have lovingly honed it over the past two years to eliminate all traces of Neil Diamond. That radio station is on my list of Favorite Things in Life.) Anyway, I take my little ten minute vacation, look out my classroom window at the wilting sunflowers in the school’s organic garden outside my window (of which I have the best view in the school) and try to release my shoulders, breathe, and not think about my to-do list taped to my planner, sitting on top of my rehearsal binder, on top of another stack of papers I still need to correct.

In those moments, I want to write.

I’ve been thinking lately about how often I write things like, “I’m in transition.” Or, “I feel like something is coming around the bend in the road.” I’ve been saying that, seasonally, for like thirty years. I’m pretty sure it’s time now to just accept that nothing is permanent, and we are always in transition. There is not one thing you can totally count on staying permanent except change itself. Nothing is for sure but death and taxes, isn’t that the old saying? Except death, in my mind, is really its own kind of change, so I guess that just leaves taxes.

Yes, I am in transition. I am in a state of Permanent Transition, a lifetime long. And how I love that. I have grown so certain that my life is exactly what I make of it, every single day. I suppose that soon I will ceased to be surprised at how very powerfully the things I dream of and plan for come to be. But I’m not there yet. I’m still shocked and delighted that the Universe does, in fact, take care of all of the “hows” if I only believe strongly enough in the end game. I can’t know the roads I’ll follow to get to where I want to be, but I know that if I believe in it, I’ll get there.

So, maybe my biggest transition right now is to decide what I want to do next. I talk about being a “writer,” but the thing is…if writing a book were really that important to me, the thing that sets my soul aflame…I would be doing it. It’s out there, a thing that I vaguely aspire to, like learning yoga. But its time hasn’t come yet. I’m spending my creativity on putting on high school plays and journaling and trying to raise daughters with a sense of whimsy and celebration. I’m so present in those tasks – too present, sometimes, I know – and I am not currently making room for anything else.

In the past several years, I have been totally, utterly okay with that. Or, at least, I have been until very recently, when I’ve begun to ask myself, “What next?” I have done the blogging thing. I have written plays. I have gotten my darling house. I am about to receive a gift of the most epic proportions, which I can’t tell you yet for three more weeks, but trust me, it’s been WAY UP on my list of Big Dreams that I had no idea how I could possibly make come true, and it’s coming true with no effort whatsoever on my part except the wanting.

What to dream now?

At the end of this school year, I will graduate a group of seniors who, along with three that graduated last year, will be the students that I have known and loved very much. They were the class that loved and lost Matt, who experienced that unique heartache and found solace in the community I helped to build. One student, in particular, will be my hardest ever goodbye. Ever. There’s something about this coming event that is hitting me hard, and making me feel like it’s time to make some big changes. (Though my choice of their final show will be exactly the right thing to honor their journey.) This is my 7th year at that High School. Is it the seven year itch? Next year both girls will be in Middle School. Do I still want to be in middle school? I don’t know. I just don’t know. But I’m finding myself starting to ask some new questions.

Stay tuned, if you’d like, and be forgiving, if you would, of my lack of consistency in blogging. I often aspire to do it more often, but when it becomes another thing on the to-do list, I feel like I have nothing worth saying. I have to just do it when the fancy strikes, I guess.