Poetry Friday is hosted by Jama Rattigan @ Jama’s Alphabet Soup
What a week.
It began with such a sense of elated optimism, sure that I’d be celebrating the election of Hillary Clinton, a woman I’ve much admired, as President of our great country. Then came Tuesday night’s nightmarish conclusion. Shock. Revulsion. And such utter sadness.
We have elected a President, but this is not my President.
And here I am, at week’s end, hearing all sorts of sorry news about hateful acts unleashed by this President-elect. The shoe is on the other foot, I want to take back my country. I don’t recognize an America where a race baiting, misogynistic, ignorant excuse of a grown man can be elected to hold the highest office in the land…to take the place of our current President, a man of honor, grace, and dignity.
I want my country back…four years is an eternity to wait.
Today, I lost myself for a while in Mary Oliver’s new collection of essays:
Her quiet voice took me to a place of contemplation and peace. Through her words I could hear the rustle of wind through woodland trails, the steady roar of the ocean, the mysterious habits of small creatures … the serene world of Mary Oliver who observes nature with such reverence.
I needed this break from the all too real world of this election’s aftermath,and its most pressing concern for me: how to keep my students focused on kindness, how to keep empathy at the center of our world view, how to grow the seeds of compassion and respect for our common humanity…how to do the work of positive teaching in a larger climate of negativity and hate.
And I needed to keep returning to this passage:
I will be thinking of this passage on Monday, when my students return to our classroom. Attention and devotion – the pathway to a better world.