Thursday, May 26, 2011


"Two Trees", acrylic, by Carolee Clark
Lately, I’ve been seeing “availability” everywhere, even in my classroom. One dictionary defines the adjective “available” as able to be used or obtained, or at someone's disposal, which, surprisingly, seems to correctly describe the entire universe. After all, doesn’t all of reality exist only in the present moment, and isn’t the fullness of every moment totally available to me? What part of this moment, this one right here, am I not able to use and obtain and have at my disposal? Another dictionary says that “available” means present, in attendance, unattached, and isn’t each moment completely present, in attendance, and unattached – meaning belonging to no one and therefore to everyone? Isn’t each moment like a never-ending gift, a bestowal of infinite kinds of sights and sounds and thoughts, all presented to me to accept and enjoy as I wish? And isn’t the same true in my classroom? When I think about it, I find it astonishing that my small classroom on a country road contains so many available marvels – the words my students and I say, the sentences we see in books, the smiles and frowns and looks of confusion on our faces, the sunshine and shadows outside. It’s all there for us each moment – even some sorrow that may be in our hearts, or world-weariness, or the feeling of failure – it’s all available to be accepted and appreciated and wondered about. It’s a rich room I teach in, this Room 2 among imposing old trees in Connecticut.

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