Thursday, March 26, 2009

Teaching... and Lessons.

Nights like this, the sleep that has carried my young son off eludes me and my mind races with the trials... triumphs and failures of the day... Tommorrow I face a challenge unlike any I've attempted... I have signed on to teach a writing class for local youth...and though I have less than 18 hours until I step foot in the classroom, I still haven't figured out what to say or do... I know what I want to convey... and, even though its been nearly a decade since I myself was in a "school", I know there are resources aplenty to pull from, as well as access to all the traditional tools of a teacher... But though I know what I want to convey.... I also know that it is not anything to be found in drilling formal terms, proper punctuation, and conjugated verbs.

So what DO I want to teach...

... the heart and soul that goes into writing.... the stability it provides in a world seemingly gone mad, the outlet for your thoughts.. the path it shows us to exploring the deep dark recesses of our own minds.... and the window into our conciousness for any who care to know.... I want to tell them that sometimes in life things do not go as we hope or plan, but that writing (and reading) can become a light for us... guiding us towards the lessons to be plucked from every bump and ditch in the road.....

I want to teach that a pen and paper is the only weapon we will ever need in the neverending human quest to be free... that in a world of gadgets, a pencil has at least twice the life of an ultra-super-dee-duper Lithium battery, and will never become obsolete. I want to teach that in a book we can experience many more lives than the one given us by our skins.... and that by writing we can share a small piece of our short time on this earth with those left in our wake. That the words we allow to spill forth from our pens can be a release from the power those ideas and words had over us. That sometimes when you can't find the right thing to say... you CAN find the right thing to write. That it is one of the few ways we can communicate with and understand our fellow man... in turn, reading and writing is the KEY to empathy for our fellow inhabitors of earth... and maybe, just maybe, empathy is the ONLY way change will ever be brought
about, and peace will ever manifest....

I want to teach that it is my sincerest belief that the writers of this world are the keepers of one of the last of the great human rights, and protectors of a freedom that hangs on by a thread.... along with the music seers and makers, the artists of form and of paint...of soil, of Wood, Steel, fabric, and fibers.... each in their own way, the "creators" of this world are truely the last pioneers left... I want to teach that, in the view from my window, if there is a "God" to be preached..than the gospel is in the very roots of every poem ever spoken... Every book ever wrote....every song hummed in our showers, and every color created on a palette...

So, how does one "teach" an understanding such as this? The best I can figure is that there is no form of planning that will work in this case.... So my "plan" is simply to show up.... and be prepared to shoot from the hip and speak from the heart. But just in case, does anyone know if there is a textbook on all of the truth of the universe that I haven't yet stumbled upon? I'm pretty sure it must exist...and I'm guessing it must be on that super high top shelf that I just can't reach yet.. right alongside that book about a foolproof method of being the perfect balance of loving parent and guiding beacon... of tenderness and strength, intelligence and intuition, beauty and individuality, all the while raising a perfectly happy, healthy, understanding, compassionate, and oh so perfectly sensible child! Fortunately I've never been good at accepting such foolish limitations as height...

Saturday, March 21, 2009



The first seven (7) people to respond to this blog post will get something made by me. (seven because its my favorite number)

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully :

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. but I hope you will :)

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It'll be done this year (2009).

4. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber.
It may be weird or beautiful. It might or might not be edible. I may
even create something totally unbelievable and surprise you at work, or sneak up on you in a dentist chair with a giant check just for you (but probably not)!!
Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something strange or quirky, but I promise
not to embarrass you in public ... well, no more so than usual. I also
reserve the right to do something fairly predictable and boring, but
with flair, fun, and love!