From Here to There

Do you ever feel like you are heading off in too many directions? October feels that way to me.

And, yet, for some reason, it also feels right.

I will be leading two digital writing workshops for the Virginia Association of Independent Schools this month, one for teachers of younger students and the other for those who teach middle and upper school. Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia has asked me to work with faculty interested in project-based learning. And I continue to develop programs for my writing studio, including a new Tuesday night workshop starting next week.

Oh, yeah. There’s also edcampisva, a professional learning opportunity I’m helping organize.

I’ve just returned home from a week in Rhode Island with my mom, who had knee replacement surgery.  The quiet time left me feeling inspired to write. And sign up for a class, which starts Monday.

And, somehow, my husband and I managed to commit to activities each weekend this month.

Have I mentioned a six-week boot camp at our gym? It’s a killer.

All this actually feels good, and I’m not complaining. But I know myself. I need to stay organized and focused, allowing time for my introverted self to breathe and be alone, too. A frenetic pace doesn’t work for me, so I’ll put time in each day for journaling, listening to music, and taking walks.

And art. I’ve started playing around with acrylics and color.

Fall has always meant a new beginning for this teacher. Even though I’m not in the classroom anymore, it sure feels like fall to me.


The Connections We Make

I am not alone in this space between darkness and dawn
And here I find this one who knew that one
Together and alone

Threads weaving through networks of fragile connections
A thought passed on, a few words resonating
Like concentric circles, waves moving outward
Disappearing into the dark


Finding the Beat

The room began to darken, lit only by candles. Pounding, tapping, and shaking sounds filled the circle. My mind, which only moments before had been spinning with thoughts of this and that, focused only on the pulsing beat.

Though I had taken one drumming class last fall (and loved it), this was the first for me–an unstructured hour of making music. A form of engaged meditation, the drum circle provides a place for community, creativity, and, in a way, storytelling. Without speaking, we played our instruments together, allowing the sounds to build and diminish naturally–and together.

I have trouble meditating, and I worried I wouldn’t be able to drum for an hour without some kind of instruction or direction. And yet, the time passed quickly, the heartbeat patterns centering and grounding me.

I wonder if any schools offer African drumming for students or teachers? Can you imagine starting or ending each day with this transformative act?

“The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe” – Hazrat Inayat Khan


I understand this fellow.

I spend a lot of time staring at the ocean, too.

That might seem wasteful or self-indulgent, but to me, it’s time well spent. Some of my best thinking happens at the beach. The regular pounding of the surf lulls me into a kind of meditative state where my mind is clear.

Even the simple routines of anchoring the boat on the salt pond and then carrying lunch, books, and chairs across the barrier beach provide a way of grounding me. I step onto the hot sand, leaving my rubber flip flops at the end of the path. Block Island sits straight ahead on a clear day. Quonochontaug to the left and Weekapaug to the right flank the long stretch of shoreline.

Settling in, I am grateful beyond words for this opportunity to connect with the sand, surf, and familiar sights again.

Edited: I discovered a lovely wordfor this: Uitwaaien