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I’m in teaching mode. I have been all month and will be until August. Teaching mode means my perspective of the outside world is shrinking by the day as I laser hone my thinking around one topic.  Teaching mode involves books, notebooks, folders, and papers scattered and spilling over all available surfaces in the vicinity.  Butcher paper is rolled out across the floor of the greatroom and scented markers are strewn about as I map out the curriculum.  Dishes and laundry go unwashed. Sadly, Yip has to remind me to feed her with repeated attempts to trip me in the direction of her food bowl.   Blogs go unread, comments go unacknowledged, and my own posts get spacey (in a multitude of ways).

This is an example of what the preliminary stages of teaching mode looked like:

june 6 012

This is how it smelled: to do lists in cherry, case studies in blueberry,  and activities in sour apple. (A-whop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-lop-bop-bop — Tutti Fruitti!) 

Teaching mode is a little consuming. Every week I read like a maniac, convinced I know nothing about this topic I’ve been studying for over a decade.  Every week I spend hours making these elaborate plans and putting together PowerPoint presentations and lectures to dazzle my students. Every week so far I have intensely disliked my entire plan and so I have wound up throwing it all out at the last minute and winging my way through class discussions.

I despised class discussions when I was a student.  I was painfully shy and horrified by the very idea of having to talk to anyone. Just tell me what I need to know and I will sit here quietly absorbing it!

On the teaching end of things, class discussions are possibly even more terrifying. It’s hard to blend in to the crowd when you’re front and center. When I stepped into the classroom on that first day without a clear plan of action I had an instant panic attack.  I broke out into a sweat, my heart rate skyrocketed, and I had an urgent need to go to the bathroom.  Why did I toss out that plan?! What is going to happen here?  What am I going to say?  What if no one says anything back?! Fortunately there was no one else in the classroom when I had my little crisis.

When everything in me was screaming, “RUN!!” I did what the last two years of yoga training taught me to do:  I sat down, closed my eyes, and breathed. I opened myself to the possibilities. I let go of my attachment to results. I was completely disarmed with this knowledge: I am pursuing that which makes my heart beat.  Then I opened my eyes, got up, and stepped into the present with a smile.

~~~~@~~~~

I would say this is a completely unrelated note, but it’s all related and intertwined and linked to the topic of transformation.  Perhaps this is just another reflection of teaching mode.

little frog

This little guy was among the hundreds of tadpoles I fished out of the frog pond a couple weeks ago when I changed out their water. He’s at that awkward in-between stage of frog development. He’s still a little tadpole-blobby and his tail can be seen in the picture on the right, but he has all four legs.
That’s all. He just needed to be shared.

A little light a-shinin’ through the window

Let’s me know everything’s all right

Summer breeze makes me feel fine

Blowin’ through the jasmine in my mind.

–Seals & Croft

midsummer 2013 001

For those in the know:

I just realized

the strange 2 a.m. lightshows

could only be the faeries.

You see,

Magic is afoot in the forest.

Mr. Tree woke to show his face

and even now,

at this late hour,

there is much fanfare.

The frogs are festooned with flowers

and the Invisible Conductor

directs their concert.

So many voices

lift and fall

in rhythmic waves.

High trills and chirps,

rising percussives,

and the bass notes of the bullies,

more felt than heard.

I swam through this sea of sound,

diving deep,

and coming up

to breathe the thick, green air

that smelled of life and death

and everything in between.

 

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