Saturday, October 15, 2011


"For it is only the finite that has wrought and suffered; the infinite lies stretched in smiling repose."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Spiritual Laws"

After a disquieting day at school, when I feel, for sure, that I have "wrought and suffered" more than a person should, I sometimes consider again this sentence from Emerson, and almost always I start smiling at my breathtaking good fortune. Yes, I suffer through a fair share of disappointments in my days in the classroom, but Emerson thankfully reminds me that a wide world of smoothly-working marvels is always all around me, and that these marvels are a whole lot more like smiles than frowns. When I'm feeling sorry for myself, now and then, for teaching like an utter tenderfoot, the sunlight is sharing its miracles, new winds are renewing the world, and happiness is holding its countless doors wide open and waiting for me. When my teaching seems to be collapsing into pointlessness, the boundless power of life is letting loose its harmonious and beautiful forces, as usual. The life I'm so lucky to be part of is infinitely more immense than my small classroom and its paltry ups and downs. There are stars sweeping the sky that make my tiny troubles trail off in insignificance.

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