I didn’t make it to all the Poetry Friday posts over the weekend. I rarely do, despite my best intentions. But the posts I did read were, as usual, full of beauty and inspiration. Jama Rattigan shared Mary Oliver’s breath-taking poem, “Messenger.” (Read it here.) These lines have been in my head all weekend:
“… Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
We owe it to the world to “be astonished” and “give shouts of joy” about the beauty that surrounds us. As I was walking to my classroom this morning, I looked out the window and was astonished by the beauty of fallen cherry blossoms.
Scattered by the wind,
cherry blossoms dart and dance
across the playground
© Catherine Flynn, 2017
I also appreciated Brenda Harsham’s interview with Irene Latham. Both of these smart women inspire me, but I really appreciated Irene’s advice to “just WRITE. Even if all you have is fifteen minutes, just do it.” Why do I need to be reminded of this constantly? At this time of year, though, it seems especially important to find those quiet moments amid all the hubbub, both for our students and ourselves. Recent research “suggest[s] that short doses of nature—or even pictures of the natural world—can calm people down and sharpen their performance.” So amidst all the busyness of the day, find a minute to just be. Then (to remind myself) write about it!
Thank you also to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, Lisa and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.