a-ha! I am not writing a memoir

At another crisis of self-examination about why I have imploded my life to move to a new city just to be another struggling writer, I walk up to the central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia with relief. In Boston, the same walk would bring flashback of elementary school fieldtrips with an assigned hand…

puzzles

My mother believes in the intellectual value of doing puzzles. For younger children it teaches patience, perseverance, shape recognition and logic. For older people it is calming, a form of meditation, and an outlet for our modern over thinking brains. Sufficient to say that my childhood was full of puzzles, many of which I absolutely…

if Icarus never flew

Icarus failed because he took his trusty wings too close to the sun. He died in a triumphant rebuke of what he had been taught. He crashed back down to earth so that we could all be reminded that no matter our own wants or skills, the sun will always burn too hot. But what…

white knuckling

I try to write things with meaning and weight, but tonight as I have to start planning the next steps of this adventure, I need to simply offer some records. I have been writing, i have been making progress. I have no measures to know if any of it is enough. I have heard of…

the callouses thicker each time I dig myself out and start to climb again

There are days of the year that are impregnated with memory and meaning, oftentimes they follow the conventional calendar of a nation, with days set aside from the end of the war of independence, the birth or death of great leaders, commemorations of battles or simply enough history. But our emotional calendar can be built…

universe, I get it, message received loud and clear

I don’t always discuss the specifics of my life, but these are too good not to share. If you have been reading as of late, you know that I am taking a year away from being a classroom teacher to focus on my writing. It is also time for me to reflect on my career…

being accessible

I am away from the classroom, so I don’t have my captive audience, the people who had to listen to me, or at least pretend to. I tried hard to not be a teacher who was alienating or direct by tunnel vision, I designed activities and an environment to engage students with their own thinking,…

new visual landscapes

I love to wander, to arrive somewhere I don’t know and will never know again. I find deep relief in being amongst complete and total strangers. I don’t need any novelty or surprise site, I’m happy with the oddity of just that paint job, the houses and who might live in them, the rare shocks…

“I’m taking the year off…to…um…write”

I am embarking on a strange new way of living, one that is structured only by my own self-discipline, rewarded in a currency of my own making, and with a high possibility of some type of failure. After ten years of teaching in a formal high school classroom, I am leaving behind that structure to live amongst…

from the desk of Marlon James

The author posted this note on FaceBook and it instantaneously illuminated for me a sensation I hadn’t been able to completely define. Marlon James Yesterday at 7:50pm · So I’m on a panel last night and somebody asks, how does one write when overcome with emotion, mostly grief I’m assuming. How does one get words…

rest-abundant muse

The restless muse The term ought not be restless, rather it should be rest-abundant, my muse has been dormant for too long. Now it tugs and begs and cajoles and dares me to feed it. Where once I was content to do what had to be done, my inner imp continues to berate me with…