Saturday, October 08, 2011


"So may some gentle muse
With lucky words favor my [teaching]."
-- John Milton, "Lycidas"

I love the idea of "lucky words", and I'm grateful to have been graciously given so many millions of them over the years of my teaching. Lucky means fortunate, but it also means magical and mysterious and felicitous and blessed. It means words that come to me like alerts from a wilderness when I'm teaching, words that work their way into my teaching the way water flows wherever it will. I don't wish my words into existence; they simply show up, one after another forever, flowing into my life and out to my students moment by moment. In a sense, they are all lucky words because they all bring me, in some way or other, the prosperity of this vast life that I, and all of us, are part of. Words work the best of all wonders, shining their lights so my students and I can see which ways to go in our studies. Every so often, I say a silent thanks to these promising signals, these always encouraging words that wander from somewhere into my teaching, time and time again.

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