Several months ago I dropped my computer. It continued working, so I decided not to worry about it. (I’ll think about that tomorrow, Scarlett says) However, lately it’s gone wonky on me. Big time. It’s now time to pack it up and send it off to Hewlett-Packard for a little rest and recuperation.
Tomorrow I’m letting go. No computer for a week or so. No Facebook, no email, no WordPress. Good for me. I have a garden to tend and a stack of books to read. It could be an enriching experience.
But first I leave you the quotes that are running through me on this gorgeous Spring day at the end of another school year.
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Albert Einstein
Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. Buddha
It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well. Henri Frederic Amiel
Yesterday in our after school folk tales class we read another Anansi story. Anansi, the trickster in West African folklore, often takes the form of a spider. Sitting on the table was a pipe cleaner spider with wiggle eyes and a Jolly Rancher sucker abdomen. I had the children’s attention.
We read the book, discussing the difficulty a spider might have taking a large python and forty-seven stinging hornets to the Sky God. The children were impressed.
Then we made our own spiders. The younger children’s chaotic spider legs were subtly adjusted as I hot glued the eyes. Everyone left happy.
Alas, I was so completely involved in the lesson I had no time to take pictures of the children.
When I got home last night a book I had ordered was waiting in the mailbox…The Tao of Teaching.
Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear. Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.
We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality. Thich Nhat Hahn
Such profound words for the times when I am afraid, too concerned about others’ approval, or think I’m not good enough. Stop your spinning thoughts, Laura. Breathe. Then…
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
- Easy Meditation Exercise (happysuburbanchick.wordpress.com)
- living in peace at this moment (justdharmaquotes.wordpress.com)
In reality, we are still children. We want to find a playmate for our thoughts and feelings. Wilhelm Stekel
Yesterday I was heavy with thoughts and spent a lot of time writing. This morning I wake with all kinds of new ideas.
Is it because I moodled around with Muse, my imaginary playmate?
Is it because today my long-time best friend and I are going on the garden tour together?
Could it be a bit of both?
Sometimes (actually most of the time) I think too much. Writing helps move me through the thoughts, but I need to balance all this inner work with some out-in-the-world playtime. Cathy and Mother Nature are just what I’m wanting today.
Here are some tiny blossoms from my garden.
blue daze from last year…I thought it was an annual
white oxalis…sold as shamrock
from Lowe’s discount cart
Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O’Keeffe
- To Have a Friend Takes Time (janaandthestone.wordpress.com)
We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness. Thich Nhat Hanh
Last night at a party with teachers and significant others from the after school program where I work, an eclectic group of adults mingle, or attempt to. Artists, retired teachers, people who like kids, people who are like kids, an international politics professor, a librarian. I watch, feeling connected to all…the passionate ones, the quiet ones, the silly ones, the clever ones, the interested ones.
The book I am writing is about experiences I recognize, even as I struggle to not make it a story about me.
And with all this babble the image that shows up in my head is M.C. Escher‘s Drawing Hands.
Practice. Practice. Practice
In the intern seminars I facilitate (beginning teachers seeking alternative certification) we practice applying education research and theory in our classrooms..
In my afterschool classes we practice balancing our uniqueness with respect for others.
Outside as the cold wind and rain assault the tender vegetables, I practice accepting Nature’s way and staying open to how I can help.
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. Yogi Berra
Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. Anton Chekhov
It is easy to talk on religion, but difficult to practice it. Ramakrishna
Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice. Arnold J. Toynbee
What we do today, right now, will have an accumulated effect on all our tomorrows. ― Alexandra Stoddard
1. I’m going back to the foot doctor this morning. Five months of pain in and out of a “boot” is getting on my nerves. Surely there’s something else that can be done.
2. In a few minutes I will plant two golden peppers and two green eggplants that were purchased on Tuesday.
3. My four groups of after school children will take a five senses walk outside. With umbrellas, if it’s raining.
4. Tonight will be dinner and a movie and catching up with a dear friend.
Somewhere within in this “schedule” my intention is to…
5. write for an hour in the library
6. spend an hour working on final paperwork for interns.
I see how this quote works.
Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment. Eckhart Tolle
I was set to write a wordier blog…you know, blah, blah, blah. Until I wandered into the backyard. I’m letting the early sunlight on my vegetables do the talking.
Early Girl tomatoes
I’ve also begun reading the most amazing book, Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World by Wendy Johnson.
Happy May Day!
1. It’s the end of the college semester and there’s a stack of “paperwork” accumulating on this computer
2. Through the windows of my sunroom where I am now sitting, raised vegetable beds are scattered across the yard catching the sun.
3. My home insurance company is leaving the state next month and I must find another carrier.
4. There are fourteen books, purchased from a recent book sale, lined up on my living room coffee table.
I want to ignore #1 and #3 and just go straight to #2 and #4.
You need a plan, Laura.
I can pick up the phone to call the insurance agent recommended by a friend.
I can give myself an hour of reading for every hour I spend on grading.
I can finish this post and go pick the last of the sugar snaps and a basketful of spinach…then maybe later today I’ll go get a couple more pepper plants:)
But first, a couple profound quotes…
There exists only the present instant… a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence. Meister Eckhart
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Henry David Thoreau
This weekend the arts festival was open to the public and I was assigned the booth most likely to have the highest traffic. Noodle Kaboodle.
Swim “noodles” had been cut into discs by the wonderful women in the supply room. Each child gets a paper plate with one disc hot glued in the center (also prepared by aforementioned w.w.) The child then builds a sculpture using several loose ones, toothpicks and other plastic foam shapes.
My job was to hand out plates, foam and toothpicks, engage the artist (or not) in conversation about their creations, and help he/she put it into a plastic bag to take home.
It was non-stop. Friday night 5-9, Saturday 10-9, and Sunday 1-5. A huge success. I’m exhausted!
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso