While having tea in a small coffee shop I inhabit, I jotted down the beginnings of a poem.
A phrase that repeated itself in my dissertation and the interviews was “differences make a difference.” When I began teaching, people asked “what made me go into teaching, particularly at 32 years of age.” It was the sentiment that I might make a difference, maybe not for every student, but for some. It reminds me of the Crosby, Stills, and Nash song: Teach Your Children Well, but it is more than teaching. It is serving them and whatever I do well.
Someday, whether we are teachers or not, we feel a desire to be lost. Responsibilities weigh on us whether we are parents, at our work, partners in a relationship, etc. In our relationships with the weight of responsibilities, something calls us each back. It is more of a whisper. It can only belong to each of us. Teaching was this way for me.
I experience a desire to be lost,
Weighing down on me,
Responsibilities cloak me like a vapour
Covering me with their many coats,
They arrive without being asked.
From the multitude, one desire arises;
A clarion call from the cosmos,
It carresses my soul;
It whispers “be useful and kind.”
A flower sharing its pollen,
Spread on the wings of others;
Teach what is possible–
What is possible of each of us?
Save them from glory seekers and profiteers;
Gently, send them away
Pollinating a new generation,
Flowering anew with compassion,
Rejoice as they float around the corner,
Knowing not what they will sow,
Trusting your character.
I took this picture on the upper reaches of the Fraser River. Around the corner from Kathy, the river narrows quickly and there is a waterfall.