Thursday, February 09, 2012


As I prepare what I hope will be powerful lessons for English class, I often forget that an astonishing kind of power is ceaselessly preparing me to prepare the next step in the lesson. It’s easy to get lost in the assumption that a separate individual called “me” makes things happen in my life, when the fact is that a far vaster force is pushing and pulling all things along. I set down words on the lesson plan page, but the power behind those words is wider than all the seas and more spacious than a thousand skies. Every thought that comes to me comes from far, far away, to find its place, for a few moments, in my life, and then leaves for other lives. I sometimes sense this strange force in my classroom as I carry on my duties among the students. The light-hearted or solemn looks on their faces, the light that seems to shine in their earnest ways of saying things, the thoughts that sometimes spring out of them like spurts of brightness – behind all these I often feel a force at work that makes me wonder why I’m so privileged to be part of it. Sure, I stand in the center of the room and seem to be setting out the steps in the lesson, but somewhere unseen there’s a power that makes it possible for me to stand, for the classroom to stand where it does, for sunlight to look in the windows as my students and I are sent down so many surprising streets of learning.

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