There are few things as wonderful as…

Presents way after your birthday. The present I got from Deanna, Jill and Sarah last week was a total surprise. I walked up to my door one day and there it was — a big-ass box with my name on it. A caveman voice resonated in my head: “Urrr?” I opened it find _another_ package, this one wrapped in cloth, and then inside _that_ was a basket of magically good things: Burt’s Bees bath stuff, peanut butter-filled pretzels, Pixy Stix, a scent-y candle, fuzzy comfy stripy socks, happy stationary…. It was, without a doubt, the most awesome thing ever. It came last week, when all was looking like hell on acid as I started at my new school.

Perhaps these things were meant to be a buffer for the rocky road.

Met someone last night who called my job “beautiful but crazy.” He just kept repeating those words over and over. Beautiful. But crazy. Beautiful. But crazy. That sounds self-important, but it helped in the moment to have me think of those two words. Beautiful. Crazy.

Someone in the guestbook…

Yes, I realize blogs today don’t have “guestbooks,” okay? But. Mine exists. See it over there. Where you can leave comments. Someone wanted to know about the Creeley quote embedded in the following text of a megaphone:

thankful —
there’s a word i can’t

pin down.
like creeley said: “god shed his grace on thee–
how abstract is that fucking fact.”
how do you say,
in any language,
may i never forget
what i hated to learn.
thank you for this pain,
thank you for this day.

So — weirdly, this fits the general tenor of my current state as well as it did when I returned from study abroad.

And the Creeley quote is from… i have no idea, because unforunately my book appears to be missing. perhaps left in buffalo. But the book is So There: Poems 1976-83 and also includes the following:

Catching Cold

I want to lay down
and die–
someday–but
not now

i am done with week 2….the basics:

–cell phone stolen. ergo, e-mail me your phone numbers, people; i got nothin’.
–had a child try to lock me out of my room, be taken to the library, subsequently escape from the library, return to the room, steal the garbage can and run down the hall with it. later, when another teacher asked, ‘where’s the garbage can?’ i busted into hysterical laughter..
–am developing a sick sense of distance from what goes on sometimes. see above.
–am crumbling around the edges. i cry more. like every day.
–saw a charter school today, noble street, that floored me with its committment to excellence and its sense of fun and joy at the same time as it is buttoned-up serious
–broke down on monday, wanted nothing more than no more days
–brightened up again later in the week when i had a fabulous rejuvenating dinner with vet teacher bekah, who set me straight and gave me some tools
–am struggling through each day but the teachers at my school are hilarious and relaxed, which helps me get through
–one day at a time… last time i took things this day-to-day was breakup-oriented; one day at a time i said to myself as i pulled through each dark morningtilnight, and now here we are, dark morningtilnight, but there is a candle lit now that will stay lit morningtilnight, and maybe someday it’ll be the sunnnnn…..

–growing hurts.
–learning hurts.
–stay ignorant.
–or give it a shot.
–good luck

some of my kids are so damn smart. they get it. a handful get it. they can look at a poem and know what’s crap, they can look at a cartoon and get the allegorical point i was trying to make, they can read a beautiful short story and appreciate the language… some of them get it.