Late Day Thoughts

It is late. I am still in my classroom, trying to put all the puzzle pieces together to create the picture that I don’t fully see in my mind just yet. I think I know the edges, but the image is still wrapped up in the pieces scattered all about me. And, for the record, I hate puzzles.

I am, still, my own jumbled mix of diametrically opposed thoughts and ideals. There does not seem to be a middle ground; there is no balance. I seesaw between knowing–not just believing, but knowing–that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel, and wondering if I will ultimately put down my resistance and accept my fate like the wife in The Road. Exuberant promise of renewed life or dismal, grey slogging to more of the same. I’m telling you: I have lost all ability to see the proverbial glass as either half full or half empty….it is either overflowing or bone dry.

Maybe this is leftover from the winter break, which was full of emotional contrasts: the juxtaposition of cheery, holiday warmth against the backdrop of masked loved ones sitting more than an arms length away; the freedom from daily attempts at teaching alongside the constraints that come from living in pandemic isolation; the need to rest and indulge in comfort foods holding hands with the promise of resolutions and new beginnings. Every moment seemed to offer me a choice and that was exhausting during a time that typically is full of restoration.

When I settled down to think about my One Little Word, I gravitated to the word Joy. I need joy. I seek joy. I crave joy. I was going to immerse myself in joy and find it in all the smallest moments. I was determined to make this my sole focus. My determination, while not what anyone could consider joyful, was laser focused. I need joy.

But then I came across another word: unfurl. I fell instantly in love. I breathed an audible sigh. I pictured myself…unfurling. Stretching out all of my parts and showing what is inside. Rising up to my fullest height and owning the space all around me. Unfurling 50 years of growth, 50 years of good and bad and everything in between. Embracing the child, the awkward teen, the years spent wandering and the years when roots finally began to emerge; the years of rebellion and the years subsumed by others. I am all of the contradictions and contrasts and opposing forces wrapped up in this body that has carried me this far. I think I may just be beginning to understand what Mr. Whitman was trying to say….I am large. I do contain multitudes. And yes, I do contradict myself.


3 thoughts on “Late Day Thoughts

  1. I so enjoyed reading your post and could relate to so much of what you’re experiencing. Your choice of unfurl as your OLW is an inspired one–what a marvelous word. My favorite line: “I am all of the contradictions and contrasts and opposing forces wrapped up in this body that has carried me this far.” Wishing you a less puzzling year filled with joy and discovery as you unfurl.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, love the word unfurl! It reminds me of a sail, which needs to be unfurled in order to catch the wind. The very end of your piece, with the connection to the Walt Whitman quote, ties everything together so perfectly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your post captivates the juxtapostion of life events for most of us…my son was diagnosed with Covid as the first vaccine was administered…it’s all so hard and you are right..the inside of the puzzle is indeed messy and blurry!
    I must say I LOVE your word…and all the promise to explore, see, embrace and live it portrays…

    Liked by 1 person

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