Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Way Opens

Way opens:  When a certain action is felt to be necessary, but no clear path to accomplishing the task is yet known.

Three years ago our school was optimistically building. Now we are struggling to stay open until December. Another sign of the times. We have the lowest private school tuition in town, but not low enough to retain families struggling with job insecurity or loss.

 J went to this school for six years. This is Tzip's fourth year, and my tenth. Working here has given me the chance to work outside the home, and still be near my children. I have had the freedom to develop a curriculum based on international Montessori standards, but incorporating my own interests. It has been a great place to work. With so many emotional ties, and memories, it is hard to imagine the school closing.  It is closing, though. 

I'm sad, scared, but also invigorated by possibilities on the horizon. Last night I signed up to take the GREs again.  I have an interview tomorrow, and several ideas about new career direction.  Quakers have a favorite saying: Way opens. With that in mind, I'm paying attention to all potential doors and windows.  Which way next?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Eat stone until monotony
bleeds up flavors
 stronger than the season could,
until sun lights and burns
the guts and handfuls of that meal.

I joined such an army.
They gave no pay but beatings.
Killing grounded us
No less, no more,
 than an evening meal.
Blood lust didn't drive us.
Perhaps motherlessness did,
but we didn't want a mother.

Naked we prayed;
We spared stark words;
We slept on dirt;
We ate only stone.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cosmic workplace

Like Montessori elementary teachers worldwide, I start the school year with creation stories.  I have favorites: Phan Ku, WulbariOdin, Vili, and Ve..., but each year I select ten fresh stories to share with my students. The last story that I tell each year is always the creation story told by scientists, also known as The Big BangNot knowing complete truth concerning creation, I don't dispense answers. My goal is to draw the child's attention to the universal nature of the question: How did I get here? 

How did I get here? What is my purpose? and Where am I going?  These are three aspects to the question: Who am I?   Just as all humans share the same fundamental needs for food and shelter, we also seek answers to the same cosmic questions. Our answers, however, in the form of cosmogonies, differ enough to cause tension between cultures, even war.  At our heart we are brothers and sisters.  In practice we burn churches and Quorans, force religious conversion, and commit genocide.

Last week was a tense one at my work place.  Everybody is asking:  How can we save this school?  There are three aspects to this question: Where did we come from? What is our purpose? and Where are we going? As of Wednesday, our answers differed enough to cause raw feelings, and entrenched factions. Our head of school quit. People whispered in small groups.  Tomorrow we will try to answer the question together, hopefully from one heart.  Each of us wants the school to survive.  

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First day of school

Last week, a hot, dense singularity expanded releasing matter, space, and time.  Matter, mostly hydrogen and helium atoms, streamed from the origin.  The atoms were destined to travel in straight lines forever, but inhomogeneities developed.  Instead of following the crowd, these irregularly clustered atoms wiggled slightly off course, throwing the emerging universe  into a tizzy.  Atoms slammed into each other.  Then an attractive force called gravity, or love, pulled them together.  Matter accreted;  soon  nebulas, stars, supernovas, and a planet swarming with life came forth.

Last week, I wore universal chaos down, and brought forth light. That's exactly how it felt.