Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hush. Listen. Ask. Focus. Obey.

A Facebook friend suggested we choose five words to live by in 2011.

This was before New Year's Day, of course, and I had plenty of time to think about it. Just not a lot of time to write about it. Maybe Promptly should, in a spirit of contrition and correction, be one of my words for this year, but it's not one of the words given me. The words that came to me over a period of several days were:

Hush. Turn the radio off. Turn the TV off. Cut the chatter -- especially the interior monologue that I carry on with . . . whom? Hush.

Listen. Turn my inner ear toward the heavens and wait expectantly to hear . . . what? Listen.

Ask. Don't assume. Don't jump to conclusions. Don't even hop to conclusions because this has to be done . . . when? Ask.

Focus. One thing at a time. Not twenty. Not twelve. Not two. One that must be done . . . how? Focus.

Obey. Otherwise, what is the point of the other four? Obey.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Up from the Abyss

Three months is a long time between posts, even for me. Normally, my editor would have reminded me by now that blogs are meant to be frequent musings and ongoing conversations, not whenever-you-feel-like-it postings. Normally, my writing instincts would have overridden whatever obstacles were in the way of my waxing poetic (or emetic) on some topic or another. But these past few months have not been normal, and my editor has refrained from criticism.

Or he has given up.

My writing instincts have been occupied elsewhere, namely in writing about writing as part of my latest course of study. This past fall I began studying for a doctorate in children's literature at the University of South Florida, in Tampa.

I also taught two sessions of Literature in Childhood Education to 70 undergraduate education majors.

All I will say about the experience is that overwhelmed doesn't begin to describe it. But I survived, and in a few days I begin the second semester.

Tonight, I ascend from the abyss to gulp some air and post an entry here. Tomorrow I descend again. Perhaps a stray bubble will make its way to the surface and land in this blog. Perhaps it will be another three months before I breathe again.

Either way, my editor will have to be patient with me.