Showing posts from April, 2018

The Heart Within

I just finished writing a big essay on my main blog, called Spring and the Death of Denial . It was in response to a fantastic conversation on a philosophical radio program called On Being. Now, I’m hopping back into Dear Teachers , and am struck by how this week’s essay, the last of the April focus on what’s really there, connects to that. When we don’t want people to see who and what we really are, we throw up defenses. When we don’t trust the people that surround us, we again build barriers. Within those walls, we are one thing. Outside of those walls, we are something else. To grow, we first have to admit the walls exist within all of us. They come from our families and traditions. From our own pasts. From our own needs. From our own fears. In this week’s essay, the image from Marlene that I chose was a close-up of a lily in full bloom. The center of that flower is bright yellow, while the outer edges are a deep red, trimmed in that same golden hue. We don’t get t

Rising Higher and Higher

This week, I’m including the full essay from my book, Dear Teachers . In addition, I’m going to share a link to a beautifully written blog entry from a teacher I’ve met on Twitter, which I believe resonates with it. It’s Julia E. Torres’s An Open Heart , which talks of the need of being both true and there for all our students. The picture I used this week wasn’t the normal nature scenes. It’s a balloon, whose pattern reminded me of rainbows and seagulls, flapping across the sky. The word choices I made were influenced by BTS’s  Outro: Wings , a powerful song about hope, belief, and  the need to support each other. All my April essays focus on really seeing what is . Especially now, we may be too exhausted to see either our or our students’ progress. We may be disheartened by personal or larger-scale setbacks and feel swamped by negativity. But if we find time to look, we’ll see our balloons are still rising and we can make changes to help them rise further. There’s hop

Where I Walk: Fear and Truth

Fear. This week’s essay in Dear Teachers is a poem about my struggles with fear caused by doubt. I think we can all agree that fear and doubt are extremely painful. You may not have this problem as much in your life, but I think everyone battles them from time to time. I doubt myself quite a bit. Others fear and doubt outside forces more. To some, the inside is to blame. For others, pain must come from without. When I can look at it from a safe distance, I can see the steps I should take. In truth, sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong. Sometimes the outside is right and sometimes the outside is wrong. Hiding may be an option, but it keeps us from moving down the path. When we stumble, what is our light? I kind of hope you have to sit for a moment before you answer that for yourself. A quick, canned answer would be so cool- so easy. But life’s not easy. It’s a myriad of things all together. People, places, moments and ideas. And the bigger our web of light

Cleaning our Glasses: True Sight

This started as an essay to support my book, Dear Teachers . It’s morphed to be applicable for all my writing interests so I'm posting it on all my blogs. I apologize for any redundancy. I stepped away from writing for a bit.  Truth be told, I needed to work some stuff out. It’s hard to ponder positives when you don’t see many in your life.  Seeing. That’s the overall focus on April’s essays: really seeing. I left March with an essay entitled “The Hum of Life”, with an important quote (which I attributed to Sudanese tradition, but may have come from elsewhere) that relates to vision: “We desire to bequeath two things to our children: the first is roots, the other one is wings.” We have to know where we’ve been in order to see where we are now and to plan for tomorrow. If we want our children to have strong roots, we must really examine ourselves deeply. Faults. Mistakes. Failures. Only then can we move to evolving real wings. I started April with an essay entitled “Hidden Mar