Wednesday, January 2, 2013

sound & fury

Living this day of my life:
  • Spent lunch time in my classroom with a former student preparing to leave for college this weekend. He tried hard to look all "I've got it handled" while his pacing said "I'm nervous," then when we were parting he blurted out, "It's terrifying." I told him I know. And that's what makes it the best move he's ever made. [He has my cell number; we'll keep in touch.]
  • Spent an hour after school visiting with a couple of 2010 graduates who kept marveling at how much easier life was in high school. I did not say "duh." I was only a little bit smug. I assured them we know they couldn't help but be self-absorbed know-it-alls; they are forgiven and all is forgotten. [Sort of.]
  • Spent 2 1/2 hours in the corner of a cramped conference room listening to a first read-through of Macbeth the Scottish play by some pretty extraordinary local thespians. There were some laughs amidst the professional approach, the Lady Macbeth chilled even in this very raw rehearsal, then the previously unassuming Macduff brought a haunted reverence to the table with his anguish upon hearing of the murder of his family [oh, SPOILER ALERT for those not in the know but really, get thee to a production]. Afterward, one of the actors read a piece he had written reflecting on the value & need for theater in such sad & despairing times as we've experienced lately in our nation; it was beautiful in its intimacy and conviction, and I told him so.

I sometimes feel, as most of us do, that what I'm 'doing' in my life is of little consequence - when people are starving & hurting & killing, when cities are destroyed, when governments are indifferent, when so many things seem far more significant than a group of teenagers struggling through a poem or a play - but the simple truth is, everything matters in its own way. Everything has the power to affect change, if only in perspective. And for something to matter it needs to be noticed.

So I notice.