Creative Quiet at Work

These days just after Christmas, the Winter Solstice, and the New Year, offer many of us some time to rest and gather before going back to our various works. Living so much of my life on the academic calendar, I’ve come to savor and appreciate these breaks in the routine of school. I’ve just had about a week and a half off from school and I return tomorrow. I find myself getting ready, trying to keep the spirit of calm and rest I’ve had for the last twelve days.

We live these rhythms, these ebbs and flows of work, activity. I can’t stay still like this for too long. But once I get back to work, I know how much I need the intervening breaks. Sometimes I can find moments in my school day to stop and be quiet, to create little rhythms of silence and work even within the workday itself. This will be one of my hopes for 2012: to maintain a better balance between the full engagement that schools require– and the more slow simplicity which I require.

One practice I wonder about is trying to write poetry during my day at school. I’ve never tried this before but I think I will make this effort. I am not one who has regular writing times; I’ve never had writing deserts or scheduled writing appointments. I’ve always just found the time. I wonder what it might be like to create some writing space during my school day, when otherwise I would have just tried to be quiet amid the sometimes raucous beat of an urban high school. We will see.

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Poet & Teacher. Author of four books of poetry: Raising King (2020) Ache (2017) Gospel of Dust (2013) Meeting Bone Man (2012)

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