I am feeling a bit scattered this morning. Let me collect my scattered thoughts, in no particular order:
--As I listen to news of vigils and protests in the wake of last week's violence, I wonder if we should be planning to do more for students who might have questions, anger, and pain. I have been so focused on first week basics (are the classes staffed? do all of my faculty members, so many of them brand new, know what they need to know? do I need to switch any rooms? we've lost 18 colleagues since the last time we had classes on campus--what are the implications?), that I haven't really thought about the larger picture.
--This week is not only the first week of classes, but I'll leave work each day and go to Vacation Bible School each night to be the Arts and Crafts director. I am exhausted just thinking about it.
--We are trying new crafts--"cave slime" made from glue and borax and "soda-lightful bubbles" with trays of baking soda and vinegar. I am anxious about how it will all work. I have a back up plan--watercolor paints. I usually try new projects, but they're usually activities that I've done with adults, and so my anxiety is about how kids will react--not about my inability to visualize the process or my ability to visualize disasters.
--Yesterday I wrote a new poem with an unsure ending (meaning, am I done? can I create something better?), and I took a blog post and turned it into a poem. I'm also inching towards being able to write a short story--I've had elements in my brain, but no understanding of a story arc--yesterday, the story arc began to be visible to me. I will let it percolate for another week, since this is not a great week to start writing.
--I can't remember what I wore to church last week. Am I wearing the same outfit week after week? If so, would anyone care? And if I only wear the same thing week after week, why have all these clothes? Oh, right, I need something to wear to work.
--I've been thinking of reorganizing my closet. I had to clear out my closet so that the solar guy could have attic access to blow insulation. As I've been looking at the closet, I've been thinking about moving lesser-used items to a different spot.
--Why keep some of these things at all? I have a few pairs of shorts that I'm unlikely to ever wear again--but they are the last clothing items made by my grandmother--it's hard to throw them away. And yes, I could take a picture--but there's something about holding the item--even if I don't hold them often.
--I will drink a protein shake this morning. I need to remember that a hit of protein throughout the day will help me stay stable and focused.
--"Everything that is interesting is 90 percent boring."--from an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert on this week's episode of On Being. She goes on to say, "And then there's the moment where you realize, 'Oh, my God, this is a spark of creation that I'm working with, and this is magic, and this is life seen through new eyes.' And creativity is the same, where 90 percent of the work is quite tedious. And if you can stick through those parts, not rush through the experiences of life that have the most possibility of transforming you, but to stay with it until the moment of transformation comes, and then through that to the other side, then very interesting things will start to happen within very boring frameworks."
--Gilbert also says this about the creative process, or about anything that's important to us: "And I think motion is a big piece of it. I've learned to give myself all the credit in the world simply for being in motion. Did you do something today toward this thing? Then you're good. [laughs] Was it great? No. Was it fun? No. But did you do it? Did you keep the ball rolling? Did you keep another step on that path going? Then you're fine. That's it."
--It's something I've believed for decades, but I don't always practice it. Let me return to my practice of doing something--anything--that serves my creative dreams, each and every day--even during weeks like this one that will be very full.
What I Did On My Summer Vacation
3 months ago