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Sound judgement…

November 26, 2010

“An affinity???”

“They speak to me,

whispering their secrets,

and my hands can decipher their murmurings…”

“You hear chemicals whispering to you???”

Her colour rose…

“It’s an unusual talent,

I know…

And it might easily have remained unrevealed throughout my lifetime,

creating nothing but that unexplained sense of waste within myself,

that I had until I left for Mozyr…

That vague sense of unease that buried talents often produce…

But I was fated to be born in this country,

at this time in history…”

I continued to stare at her…

“I make bombs,” she told me,

“Of the highest possible caliber…”

— in your mouth is lovely by Nancy Richler

There are those moments,

where one looks back,

and remembers,

being stopped,

or pushed forward,

by something…

Something invisible…

People spend a lot of time,

trying to name,

those somethings…

I prefer for things,

to remain nameless,

and quite simply,

to be felt,

and acted upon,

in all honesty…

When it’s time for recess,

and as the teacher,

you know that math is up next,

and you have to get all of the materials ready,

before your students return from the playground,

and you still haven’t had time to relieve yourself,

after your morning cup of Earl Grey,

and a child wonders,

Can I stay in with you???

often the typical reaction is to stick with the program,

zip up their jacket,

and say,


I need some alone time…

But having lived with a steady stream of negativity,

for most of my life,

I try to stay,

as much as humanly possible,

in the affirmative…

And on this particular day,

I heard a foghorn,

of confirmation,

from all the way down,

the inlet…

We sat there together,

she and I,

at a standard issue primary desk,

with a faux-wood arborite top,

sorting out all of these colourful plastic cubes,

which connect…

Each in our own worlds,

working on our own little piece of the puzzle,

when she suddenly broke the silence,

with a You know,

I was an angel before I came here,

and when it’s your turn to go,

they ask if you’re ready,

but even if you say you’re not,

they push you off anyway…

I wanted the same mother as my two sisters,

but they said I had to wait,

and sent me to a different mother…

I asked her how she was finding it down here,

so far,

since she got pushed off…

She said,


some of the time it’s okay,

but most of the time it feels like jail…

I said,

I’m still getting used to my body’s limits…

I miss all of that flying…

She looked at me,

and asked how old I was…

I said,

I’m almost forty…

She said,


that’s super old…

You feel like a kid…

I asked her if she knew what she was here for…

She said,


God hasn’t told me yet…

I said,

Some people never remember…

I only found out this past year…

She said,

You’re here to make school different,


When I have my daughter,

I want you to be her teacher,

because you know how smart kids are…

We sat there a while longer,

not saying anything,

because at that point,

the message had been delivered,

and the bell was ringing…

The rest of the class came in,

as we all buckled down,

to the basics of adding,


and multiplication,

like a regular day at the office,

of prescribed learning outcomes…

Some months later,

this little girl’s mother,

the one they sent her to,

when what she really wanted,

was the same mother as her sisters,

spoke under her breath to me,

in the arch of the doorway,

between my classroom,

and the primary pod…

She relayed a story,

about a buddha statue,

the Museum of British Columbia,

and her toddler,

in diapers,

prostrate to a higher mind

When in conversation,

I often hear people,

saying with frustrated anger,

masking hard core fear,

I’m trying to stay linear here…

I tell them,

I’m trying to stay linear too…

It’s just that the line I walk,

makes room for complexity,

some chaos,

and under standing,

in all of those grey areas…

And lightness has a call that's hard to hear... (photo: Starshine)

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