Yesterday was an amazing day: full of many moving parts and many ways the day could go off the rails. But I'm happy to report that it did not. It was a day of many wonders. Let me write about one of the highlights.
One of my colleagues is teaching a poetry writing class for the first time. She wanted some published poets to come speak to the class--including me. I had a general sense of what she wanted, but I wasn't sure of the timing.
I showed up, and she asked me to tell the class about myself and how I came to be a published poet. I talked about my undergraduate dreams of being a poet in residence at a lovely college being surrounded by people who wanted to read and write poetry.
I looked at their young faces, and I said to myself, "Kris, your dreams have come true!"
Granted, I'm not the poet in residence--but my job is more permanent, and thus, I've been able to have some stability, which leads to better writing for many of us.
And thus, I've had other opportunities that my younger self never would have dreamed of. I write regularly for the Living Lutheran site. My theology blog, Liberation Theology Lutheran, is one of the featured blogs at this site. Long ago, the magazine that hosts that blog list, The Christian Century, was one of the ones that published essays that made me want to try my hand at nonfiction of all kinds. My poems have been published far and wide, and I'm still proud of my chapbooks.
One of our other published poets happened to be teaching at the same time that the poetry class meets, but she came to the poetry class during her the break time for her class. We talked about doing poetry readings together, and then we did some reading of our own poetry. The students then read their poems. It was wonderful.
The morning reminded me that I'm lucky to be working in this place, a place full of all sorts of artists. I'm lucky to have found some kindred spirits.
We start off with dreams of how we'd like our lives to be, and if we're lucky, we wind up with a variation of them coming true. I may not be the poet in residence, but I get moments throughout the year when I'm treated like one. But more important, I am surrounded by colleagues who cheer my successes and encourage me to push on through the setbacks.
My younger self may not have dreamed of that aspect of work life. My older self knows how wonderful it is to have that kind of work life.