Musings, Unbound

The Pause

Pictures this: You are lying in bed, and the gramophone in your brain is winding down its last tune.  It’s soft serenade is lulling you into sweet repose, and the Sandman, that darling little cherub, is preparing a graceful sprinkling of dust to send you over into dreamland.  Then someone’s big hips bump the table.  The needle scratches across the groove, the Sandman rolls his eyes, snaps his fingers, and disappears, and you’re left with an infinite rehashing of every.single.blasted.thing.you.still.need.to.do.

As an educator, this is almost every night.  Even the glorious, though poorly named, “Holiday” and “Summer Break” offers little in the way of respite.  Last night on the eve of returning from Thanksgiving and making the final turn towards Christmas break, visions of writing assignments and short stories and classroom discussions danced in my head.  Even today, I could not stop my mind from leaping forward.  How sad the silent urgency to always be planning instead of stopping to enjoy the moment with your students.

When I first started composing this post, I was on lunch.  That delicious 30 minutes of time during the middle of the day when I have the opportunity to turn my thoughts inward.  I had intended to write about an educator’s need and, dare I say desire, to burn the midnight oil.  Now, it is well on in the evening, and that midnight oil has already been burning my vigor for a couple of hours.  Even in typing these words, I’ve just realized I do not want to write about work.  At least, not tonight.

A few years ago, I blogged only about education: my students, my experiences (both good and bad), the newest educational technologies, and a myriad of other educationally related topics.  Then I stopped.  Cold turkey.  I even cut off my incessant microblogging using Twitter.  It’s been relatively quiet in my head for the past couple of years.

I’m not saying I’ll never write about work.  I think it crucial for personal progress that we become introspective and reflect, regardless of our stated professions.  However, I think there is a fine line between reflecting and obsessing.  Obsessions consume you like always discussing your job consumes conversations.  

If you live in between the grooves of the record, you might always be stuck there.  This is the proverbial “life is what happens when you’re making plans” soundtrack skipping.  There will always be another record to play.  For right now, it’s time to live in the pause.

In response to Daily Prompt: Vigor
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Gramophone” by Bogitw (CC0 Public Domain)
Prose, Unbound

A Wintered Heart

Winter often gets a bad rap. Beyond playing host to Christmas and New Year’s, which are each met with various feelings of elation, frustration, and angst, winter encompasses grey, cold days filled with complaints of aching bones and aching hearts. Perhaps it is because I was born in winter that I feel cozy and at home when the temperature drops and the days tend towards a never-ending twilight.

Symbolically speaking, winter is death in the archetypal “Circle of Life”. The end. das Ende. Fin. However, nothing could be further from the truth. One of the reasons I love winter when most do not is because I believe it to be a time of rebirth. Behind every blanket of snow, every sheet of ice, every cold wind is a seed.  Winter possess liminal potential. Encapsulated within this frozen threshold is promise: promise for warmth, promise for growth, promise for life, and promise for hope.

Understanding this Jungian concept, I knew that a thaw of my wintered heart was inevitable the moment I saw him. A thawing of formidable ice never starts from the outside. It starts from the inside, bubbling up like desire. This desire for warmth, for growth, for life, for hope slides beneath the surface slicing away at the structural integrity of the ice’s resolve. Eventually, this resolve cracks and there is no resisting the birth that pours forth.

There is a fear that comes with being born; a fear that your new hope will wither as quickly as it bloomed. I could not take this risk. Not after having waited so long for him. Not after nurturing these seeds through the winter. Not after tasting the growing heat of desire and warmth of life.

Then the dawn came: A wintered heart holds all promises in abeyance. Especially when it’s one I can keep forever in my freezer.

In response to Daily Prompt: Liminal
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Winter Landscape” by Smarko (CC0 Public Domain)