Thursday, August 28, 2014
This morning I woke up with a Nina Simone playing inside my head. The first time I heard her singing Feeling Good I was feeling pretty horrible. I'm not talking about the random bad day we sometimes experience. I'm talking a deep down misery that's been tamped down inside you for decades that suddenly balloons out of a control inside your heart like a slow-growing aneurysm. And you know intuitively that you may never know happiness again. That was over three years ago. I was sitting outside in a rooftop restaurant - Polonez - in Istanbul thinking that if only I could come back home I would be happy again. Oh 50. What a bitch you have sometimes been. It's winter in Istanbul - maybe January - and it's freezing. This is the second part of Istanbul that does not include my great new friend Ayse or my great Turkish architect boyfriend and his family from the first part of Istanbul. The story that has brought me to Istanbul has ended and - once you become addicted to living inside a story you're writing - you'll never be happy again when you're living outside one. And I'm feeling so rotten inside that I cannot be around other people because I - let's be honest here - I hate myself so much. I'm not talking here about the kind of self-loathing that can be cured by a pep-talk from a best friend. By looking at the glass half-full instead of half empty. I'm talking about the kind of misery that if you'd walked up and started talking the kind of shit that people sometimes use to talk about unhappiness I would probably have slapped your face. Fast forward to yesterday which I could not write about yesterday because yesterday was too filled with stepping inside new stories. Not just my new stories and my daughters' new stories but the new stories of my students and school community. Connecting then and now is nothing more than the story I have written inside this blog these past three years. And a wonderful new vision and love and light that has invaded my space. It's here that I'm hoping I've tapped into a deep and common chord of human suffering and misery so that I can offer something like hope. Like light at the end of the tunnel. Like don't ever imagine you're alone in the world because you're not. That there's nothing to love about you because there is. Because if you're supremely blessed and lucky in the world and if you don't give up hope - then you will one day find all the love you have always been looking for. Spoiler Alert - it's always been right there inside your heart. Just waiting to be discovered and to freed to live inside the world.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I've been waking up mornings wanting Turkish coffee and cigarettes for breakfast. I'm not really a smoker - so I'm trying to figure out exactly what this means. I'm satisfying the longing for drinking coffee with others mornings by waking up this morning before daylight and driving to my local coffee shop before work. On the way - I passed by my friend Schoolcraft's beloved church and took 30 seconds to snap a pic of it to text to him. This resulted in my friend Joni opening up her coffee shop 1-hour early to let me in #30secondsoflove Thanks Joni for letting me in! Love you. Maybe this
longing is attached to starting back to school and a new reality I'm trying to create for myself and others who teach high school. I've never felt so valued as a teacher as I did that first semester in Istanbul when I was in the capable of hands of Turkish department chairs and heads. Because I'm into the first 10 minutes of my work day here in the Mississippi Delta - and not sitting inside the teacher's smoking garden/cafe in Istanbul talking with my friends before we start the teaching day - I'll be brief and come back later this evening to post some more pics. But here's my question: how nice would it be if we could elevate the status of the American high school teacher? I'm not sure about you - but I'm more than ready for a change in the way high school teachers live and are seen.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Last night while my new roommate who is a first year Teach for America teacher was hard at work doing things for her students - I was hard at work devouring the last of Orange Is The New Black Season 1. To be completely fair - I'm starting my 19th year of teaching. I've survived the sheer hell of the past two years of mid-career burnout. Of forgetting all the things about teaching that no longer work.
Monday, August 25, 2014
There are a lot of happy yet heavy things I could tell you this morning about how it feels to have both your daughters suddenly decide to get married 28 days apart. Let's be honest! A part of me would love - now that I seem done (well almost) with my wild-ing it out days - if they would just move back in with me and we could be one big happy family. But wait.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
In just a few moments I'm going to throw things into my truck and head out of the Delta to Jackson to the airport to pick up my daughters' other sister Lexi at which time wedding weekend mania will officially begin. Included in the things I'll be throwing into my truck are: Two Mother of the Bride dresses