Skip to main content

sometimes I pretend I'm a poet....

To my latest teacher-

Our first meeting was one of teaching:
“No, I’ve never played racquetball, but I’d love to learn,” I offered coyly.
You took me up on it two weeks later.
I’ll be honest, I don’t remember anything you taught me that time, except that you were patient with me, and smiled when I held the racquet wrong, and laughed with me when I missed the ball, and cheered when I made a point, and didn’t let me win.
Later, over Jamba Juice, you taught me the history of rock music, about the Ramones, Velvet Underground, Operation Ivy, Black Sabbath, Eminem
while I responded in kind with a lesson on Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt and why I love the piano.

Other lessons followed:
how to make the world’s best peanut butter bars.
how to appreciate the 80s.
how to properly capture a duck.
and how to play “Three Blind Mice” on the guitar.

One night, we stayed out until three talking about truth, and God, and trust, and snow.
And that was when I learned how to share myself with someone.
Another night, you taught me how to kiss.
“It’s really easy,” you said, cradling my face in your cold hands.
It was easy, but not so easy that we didn’t keep practicing for hours, weeks, months.
From you I learned to cry for help, to lean on someone else, and
let someone lean on me.
I learned to take chances, to put my heart in your hands,
to trust myself with your heart.
From you I learned to see the world not in black and white, but in living, vibrant color.
Your eyes, arms, words, taught me devotion, loyalty, sensitivity, caring.
In short, you taught me love.

I taught you a few things too:
the foxtrot, and basic music theory.
why I love to read.
how to find a pair of pants that fit.
and how to live with passion and optimism.
Like all classes, ours had to end
with the final lesson.
how to let go
how to say good bye
how to…hurt.
I won’t forget your lessons (how could I? they are burned in my heart) but I must be
My own teacher now.
I must teach myself:
how to heal.
how to keep living.
how to try again.

Until I find another teacher as great as my last.


Popular posts from this blog

In which I need to figure out what happiness is made out of

Let me tell you a secret:

During my month working at camp this summer, I think I took my medication...twice.

And guess what?

I was fine. No, I was happy.

Let me tell you another secret:

Last week, I only took my medication twice.


I was not fine. I was miserable. The world fell apart and I found myself crying about things like not being able to eat at Chick-Fil-A because I'd forgotten my debit card.

And so I've been asking myself...what made the difference? Why could I be blissfully content without my medication at camp, if I still depend on it for my happiness back at home?

There has to be something, and if I only could put my finger on it...

Maybe it was singing all day, everyday, sailor songs and whaling songs and songs about nature and songs about fish heads and songs about friends, just letting my voice ring out because that's what humans do, they sing.

Maybe it was always having opportunities to help others, or seeing the effects of my work with my own eyes. Ma…

In which my life teems with simple delights

An Internet community I frequent recently discussed the question: "What is a small good thing that has happened in your life lately?" And I realized that lately my life has abounded with small, good things.

1) My husband learned how to make Pad Thai and has made it twice in the last week and a half. He is very good at it and it is awesome.

2) My mentor told me that I'm doing a great job as a teacher. On a day when I was frustrated with 6th graders who refused to participate and 3rd graders determined to sow chaos, this meant a crazy amount.

3) I've been going to therapy, and it's working! I'm learning some simple strategies to cope with my anxiety, and I haven't had an anxiety attack in over two weeks. Everyone, go to therapy.

4) A little boy in one of my special ed classes sang yesterday! I'd never even heard him talk before, and he was singing every single song word for word, perfectly in tune. I wanted to give him the biggest squeeze in the world.

5) I…

In which I don't know how to do friendship

Before I got married, I used to swear up and down that Aaron and I would never be one of "those" couples. You know, the ones who, upon getting married, retreat into their married bliss and completely ignore their friends forever. No, I was sure that I'd spend just as much time with my friends after I got married as I did before.  I was wrong.

I've been married for a year and a half, and I rarely see or talk to most of my friends. Many of them have graduated and moved away, some have had babies, and some I just....haven't made time for. My ability to make new friends also seems to have completely disappeared. I can do small talk and casual aquaintanceship just fine, but moving to actual friend level? I have no idea how to make that happen.

There are a few reasons for this. First, before I was married, I lived with some of my best friends, so it was pretty easy to make time for them. The friends I didn't live with still mostly lived within a few blocks. It'…