Thursday, April 02, 2009

Too Many Words

I've got too many words.
Written, unwritten, crawling up the walls, chittering and chattering outside my window in the guises of robins and sparrows setting up nest.

Words I want to copy, words I want to winnow out of the sinews of my mind and onto the page or Word processor or into the wind as I sing. Famine or a feast. When it rains it pours. All this time and so much to say and so little space to say it.

So start slow, sweetheart. Start with what you know.

When Natalie was here we had a couple of short conversations about teaching that have remained with me. Listening to, reading Old Friend From Far Away again reminded me of the potency of direct questions, when spaciously spoken. I revised, looked again over my assignments, and made new ones with a sparkier feeling, more clear, less questioned, more questioning. A student, having seen Nat, made the specific request (implored me, in fact) to do so. And this week I popped out a doozy, or it popped out of me: first kiss, first time making love, on stage or home alone. Or any other first folks could think of. As I read the assignment to the very first class, I could hear where I still hesitated, causing confusion for them. Now marks a new era - era in which I trust that I know enough, that they know enough, that not knowing is enough to make a good exercise. In fact, makes a better one than trying to put forth an agenda or insist that I qualify for this work. This wondrous, back-breaking, heart-salving work.

It's my first full day off in weeks. No particular work to do - slow start in the online classroom, due to weirdness of three districts spring breaks being not all in the same week. Piles of email of course, as always, which I will try to winnow down over the next days from 150 some to 50 some in my inbox, which is where I keep them until I have dealt with them. Other than that, plenty of cuddling, exercise, yoga, broccoli, ice cream and Buffy. Catching up with Flickr. Editing my short shorts and submitting them for potential publication. More than I could ever do in four days - two totally off, two half-occupied with helping out at the Shambhala Center. I'll try not to overload the space. One tiny activity at a time.

I am thinking of how one of my teachers, John McQuade (Miksang senior teacher) tells us that he prefers the word "Harmony" to "Peace" since peace has become so loaded. Yes. Because space isn't inherently peaceful actually. Balance doesn't always come in the form of Peace. It is good for me to remember this as I enter into so much open, unstructured space. To enjoy myself through balance rather than seeking quiet. Let the quiet come naturally. In between the too many words there are moments, gaps of space, endless, more endless than the words themselves. Lean on the nothingness and the rest will arrive.

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