Saturday, December 17, 2011


Every so often, as I’m standing before my young students of English, it comes to me that I’m in the presence of several kinds of magnificence. It may seem strange to use the word “magnificence” when speaking about a simple 9th grade English class in an unexceptional classroom out in the Connecticut countryside, but I do see magnificence on all sides as I’m instructing the students. I’m simply standing in front of often forlorn and disheveled teens, but sometimes they seem surrounded by halos of brilliance. They often think in unmanageable ways, but occasionally their thoughts throw out a luster like lights. Of course, I’m also in the presence of just plain presence – the astonishing sparkle of each present moment. No matter how wearisome my lessons might be or how tedious my teaching becomes or how lackluster the students might seem, there’s always the present moment making its unspoiled miracles. There’s always new breath bringing life to each of our lives, always the marvel of feelings flowing through all of us, always some sort of sunlight outside to show us the splendor of the outdoors. Indeed, it’s impossible to not be in the presence of irrepressible power, because that’s what each present moment is – pure, newfangled, and everlasting power – and it’s always in the classroom with my rosy, refreshing students and their wholehearted senior-citizen teacher.

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