The heart of the matter
God, I love 80ies music.
Wonder why? Here’s the reason: that terrible combination of a quite danceable, sing-along-in-the-kitchen/shower/while-vacuuming kind of tune with lyrics full of soul-shaking, heart-wrenching wisdom. A musical decade of wonder.
And synthesizers, of course.
Let me share a snippet of the gem I’m listening to right now:
I’ve been trying to get down to the heart of the matter but my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter (just to get the mood across correctly: imagine the strumming of an unplugged electric guitar and a gospel choir humming softly in the background).
On point, Don.
Okay, this isn’t a music blog and although it sounds like it so far, this isn’t supposed to be a blog post celebrating my top 10 80ies chart hits. If you were hoping for a free Don Henley mp3 download, you’re out of luck. Sorry, folks. I was just about to start writing this post when this song came on and it resonated with me and, coincidentally, with the thoughts I was about to share.
I have been, in fact, trying to get down to the heart of the matter lately. A bit unsuccessfully, though. I’ve been enrolled in a 2-year teacher training program for close to 2 years now. Let’s quickly do the math together: yes, I can see the finish line! For now however, the near end of my teacher training isn’t a cause for much celebration but it means observation, evaluation and, as an extra Easter treat, oral examination.
To make this period especially enticing for future teachers: it’s hard if not impossible to get things right. You can pour all your heart, effort, sweat, laminating pouches and glitter into one lesson and people will still find a way to take it apart based on the one thing that wasn’t quite right (in their opinion).
You inevitably wonder: am I doing this right? Am I a good teacher? Or is this a terrible career plan for me and the poor tiny humans sitting in my class room?
I want to be a teacher. I like hanging out with 8-year-olds, teaching them things I’m passionate about and learning new things along the way. I hope to inspire them to make their own way, stand up for what they believe in and grow from fabulous tiny humans into fabulous average-sized humans.
Yet, there are so many holes in our system of education – some that have been temporarily patched up and some staring you right in the face. It’s not just one sector, too. You can start your way from the curriculum and work your way up to teacher training and funding and … the list goes on and on.
It gets hard not to be disheartened, not to lose focus and, the one thing I deeply care about: inspiration.
If all my effort is in vain, if there’s so much wrong with the system itself, am I on a mission that is destined to fail?
What do you think? What inspires you? What keeps you motivated and going, even when the odds aren’t in your favor?
I’m curious to know and determined to get down to the heart of the matter.
Inspire me, will you?
Okay. I know it, you know it – we ALL know it: I haven’t been a good blogger lately. Actually, I haven’t been a blogger at all, and I am sorry. Of course, I didn’t mean to. As always. Blah.
I didn’t really have time to write (at least, not in the way I want to have time when I sit down to share a story or an idea). Yet, this doesn’t mean I didn’t have time to think; think about stories or ideas I’d like to share. That being said: Enter new form of expression (that is, new to this blogger) – photography!
It’s not entirely new terrain but I haven’t really taken anything beyond snapshots in quite a while. Not having as much time to write, though, I’ve come to appreciate its quality to capture a moment on the go (which is handy while you’re on the go yourself) while still holding a certain poetic beauty (if you know what you’re doing).
So without further ado, here are a couple of moments I couldn’t put into writing but I want to share nonetheless.
Shake it out. Seriously: Shake – it – out…
I’m sitting here, a glass of wine in my right hand (because it usually helps me to talk a lot more than I normally would and maybe, the same goes for writing?), waiting for inspiration to strike me – like lightning, or at least, like a tiny spark.
I’m sitting here, fairly uninspired.
Last night, I did manage to get a start on what bears the potential to become a fully-grown and respectable story. And yet. It already has a fair amount of brothers and sisters huddled in drawers, crouched together in notebooks, sitting and waiting in long-forgotten files on my laptop: none of them ever made it past the literary toddler-stage.
There must be something in the air that constantly stunts their growth – maybe the occasional incense I light, or maybe there’s asbestos within the walls of my apartment, or maybe an old case of writer’s block, drawn-out.
Still, I’m sitting here, fairly uninspired.
Story Beginning, Pt. I:
She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.
It was early, merely dawn. The sun hadn’t had its morning coffee yet and was stumbling across the sky, still half-asleep. Much like her.
She didn’t even know what time it was. She had been awake for hours, flipping through pages, pages and pages. Running her fingers over every single word, every single letter in the book. Breathing them.
She’d taken them all in, had almost choked on them. It was his handwriting.
Now, she knew all of it by heart. And yet. She just really wanted to know him. Understand him. Understand it all.
March 23, 2012 in the upper right corner. Then: Mary. Then: Mary. Mary. Mary. Mary. Mary. Mary Mary Mary Mary Mary Mary Marymarymarymarymary.
Because there wasn’t another day, not for him.
I’m sitting here, a glass of wine in my right hand (three or four sips emptier than before), waiting. Maybe not even for inspiration. Maybe, I’m just waiting.
I’m waiting, inspiration?
I opened a window to air out the past days’ heat that’s collected in the small room, gotten stale; some of the past days’ memories that have collected in the window curtains like cigarette smoke (I am sorry; Don’t apologize; I am truly sorry; I know; I am sorry things are so complicated; So am I…).
I’m waiting, inspiration?
Story Beginning, Pt. II
“Why is the sky so big?” His question came out of nowhere, like always.
A minute ago he had been busy biting off the crust of his peanut butter sandwich. Now, he was looking at her through his thick-framed glasses (the ones she didn’t want to buy him because they made him look uncomfortably grown-up – but he had insisted).
She tried to think of an answer that would make sense to him, like always.
Usually, she couldn’t come up with anything that seemed reasonable enough to him. Scientific enough. Once, she had tried to put on her favorite high school teacher’s tone – simply to sound scientific. She really tried. She wanted to explain the world to him. Yet mostly, she couldn’t. She knew that. Mostly, the world was too complicated for her to understand, let alone explain it to anyone else. One day, she hoped, he would be the one to explain things to her.
“Or do you think we are just so small?” He was still looking at her. Crumbles of toast and smears of peanut butter stuck to his mouth and tiny fingers.
“That’s probably it, Coop” she said. She smiled and kissed him on the cheek.
Still, I’m sitting here, fairly uninspired.
I’m waiting, inspiration?
Still, I’m waiting, fairly uninspired.
I’m sitting here, inspiration?
Story Beginning, Pt. III
She’s standing at the edge, bent forward a little. Her thin, white dress is fluttering in the wind: one moment it rests calmly on her legs, like a second skin almost, entirely covering the pink scar on her left knee; the next moment it shoots up into the sky, maybe wanting to cover up other scars (ones that are not pink but black or some dark shade of blue or purple); scars that lie way beyond her left knee, beyond anything really.
She’s standing at the edge, bent backwards a little. Her smooth, brown hair is fluttering in the wind: curls are flying through the air, like migrating birds – always headed South, South, and further South…
She’s squatting. Her hands feel their way along the two ropes they’ve been gripping tightly for the past several minutes (maybe hours). She’s sweating. It’s October, but unusually hot – the summer has melted in its own heat and oozed into the cracks of fall, sweet and sticky, like syrup (maple).
The swing creaks as she’s moving: backwards, forwards; forwards, backwards.
I’m sitting here, a glass of wine in my right hand (it doesn’t help to loosen my tongue, it just make it numb, which is just as good, at least for tonight), waiting. I’m here she says, I’ve been here all along – you just didn’t want to see me, her voice sounds unusually high, accusingly. I know, I do know. I try to reassure here. I’ve been here all along (a pair of eyes; grey, almost blue). You just didn’t want to see me (I couldn’t bear it; I already feel you all the time — I can’t feel any more).
I’m sitting here, not waiting but wondering. I wonder, now that inspiration has found me, what I am going to do with it.
We always claim that it is inspiration we need. And yet. Inspiration is not like an invisible friend that whispers stories into your ear and keeps your nights from being too lonely, too dark. Sometimes, it’s an invisible friend that pushes you into the lonely darkness (a pair of eyes; grey, almost blue), makes you dive in deep in order to find the stories that are hiding at the very bottom of it.
I’m sitting here, slowly finishing my wine. I’m here she says, I’ve been here all along.