Monthly Archives: October 2015

Layers #4

I haven’t posted every day by any stretch of the imagination.  Yes, I recognize that as trite.  I will continue to try.

light creates a layer

shadows of leaves shift their impression across my knees

while one stem lifts up and down shifting like a breath


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Layers #3

take care of the man reading in your living room who expelled a cough when he read that Pip found her father

and the two labs who lie in curves upon the living room floor with the fluffy grey cat who has yet to realize he’s not a dog

beyond the safe reaches of the lawn around the house, cars pass and people walk

news of a shooting half a country away weighs in my heart and upon my brow

while reactions of those who share my attitudes towards the NRA have grown numb, believe ‘nothing can be done’

am I resigned to a world where news of lives lost from lone gun-men, tropical storms and misplaced military fire mesh through the airwaves emitted from my car radio?

only to be followed by in-depth analysis of media from a myriad of platforms

only to return to the kitchen found within the safe reaches to saute garlic and onions, squash and tomatoes

prepare supper

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Layers #2

I started this post not knowing what to write about, and after talking to my partner about the shooting in southwest Oregon it came to me.  Consider this to be my layers of thought.

Yesterday I walked with a few teachers; we walk the track at our school during advisory – fitness Friday.  As we walked we spoke of this recent shooting.  We’re all liberals.  None of us would consider owning a gun.  And yet they didn’t want to hear about it.  Felt there was nothing that could be done about it.  Later that evening I spoke to my younger daughter, who also believed there was nothing to be done about it.

I teach tenth and eleventh grade English.  My eleventh graders recently read Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and my tenth graders recently read Herman Hesse’s Siddartha.  For the last two days I’ve listened to the President speak.  A man who holds more power than most of us and yet he seems powerless in the face of the gun lobby, the NRA.  How can this be?

I am a woman of peace and when I think of Dr. King, I think of non-violent protest.  Why aren’t we Americans who are not satisfied with the way things are, staging protests, sit-ins at NRA offices, in the halls of Congress before our Congress men and women’s offices which accept money from the gun lobby?

And as I reflect upon Siddartha (my students have been writing about how we gain wisdom) I wonder about our next steps. I am not satisfied with inaction. How and where can we find the wisdom needed to stop these mass killings?

The same people who support the right to bear arms are the same people who are against abortions. How can life be judged? How can we at least not get these people to understand that guns are not being controlled?

I have thought of the faces of Mexican students who were killed in Mexico last fall that were displayed in the streets of Oaxaca. Why are we not plastering the faces of Americans whose lives have been lost to senseless violence in this country? Might they be a constant reminder of life that has been lost.

As a mother of two children every time we live through another mass killing, I think of the mothers who are grieving.  About the sadness and anger which must accompany such a loss.  Why do we continue to tolerate these actions? Our personal freedoms are being eroded by the too powerful gun lobby.  Schools have been the target too many times.  Since when did going to school become a dangerous act?

Today I will hold those who grieve close in the layers of my thoughts.  I will consider ways to find power to begin to change the pattern which has become, oh too prevalent in our American society.

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I came to the idea of writing about layers one morning this past summer as I started my morning walk.  The clouds were layered in the sky – cool greys against a pale blue sky.  Hills against the horizon gave way to layers of landscape.  Office buildings along Mo-pac and trees along the Barton Creek and the greenbelt trail.

There are layers of meaning in so many things.  A glance can mean one thing to me, while my interpretation may be way off from what was intended.  Yesterday as I walked through writing conferences, listening in to my students’ conversations, checking their drafts.  I asked a student to show me her draft and felt a sigh of annoyance as she leaned over to unzip her backpack.  After taking her draft out I remarked, “How hard was that?” To her she had made no such gesture.  I wonder where my interpretation came from.  No doubt past experiences that I had laid upon this moment.

Layers provide warmth and protection.  This morning I thought of this while lying beneath the sheet and quilt.  Enjoying the warmth as I woke to the morning.  We’re still weeks away from needing layers of protection to provide warmth.  Our days remain warm.  But in the early morning as I rise I appreciate a warm nest from which to emerge.

I guess what I hope to do through my writing is discover and articulate some connections among these various ideas.

Places I hope to go in the days which follow are closer observations of the physical layers I notice in the natural world, more layers of meaning, and references in my reading.

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