Grad Party Moments

After a year of Covid the grad parties have returned. There have been years past where I haven’t attended any of the celebrations of our senior graduates. Last year I made no excuses, we all stayed home. But there have been occasion where I took an all or nothing approach. This year has been different. Perhaps having retired from my school holds precedent. Today I felt tears at a party for the first time in nearly a decade.

For every teacher there is always that student and this afternoon I said a farewell to one of mine. She holds that special place in my heart. One particular display taunted everyone’s heartstrings. She had created, or perhaps mom or dad, a display of her class picture from 1st grade to graduation. My eyes well as I write these words. I think knowing she would be the last person I work with directly on this stage had a tremendous emotional impact on me today.

I looked at all the students and families that I was given the opportunity to spend my life with over the last two decades and I am only grateful. The celebration of a graduate is real and profound. In my own life I didn’t have that luxury when I left high school, so now as a teacher for most of my life I have discovered a certain respect for the life of the students that when I was a teenager I took for granted. To be the adult teacher that comes to celebrate their successes is rather humbling for me.

For all the teachers out there that this summer question whether or not it makes any difference for them to say goodbye to their students one last time as they leave the high school hallways, take a moment to give yourself a break. Though there were many times when you felt like you had no impact on their lives, it is clear they wouldn’t be where they are this summer without your love, compassion and guidance. But we didn’t do it alone we all did it together hand-in-hand because that’s what we cared about more than anything else – the success of our children, our students, our families, our community.

To be a teacher has been probably one of the rewarding gifts of my life and I am forever thankful for the opportunity. Seeing the smiles and celebration of my students this summer has been a highlight and offers assurance as I choose another chapter in my life. I only hope I can have as receptive an audience as I did the kids I worked with on stage throughout my career.

Graduates I wish you only the greatest success in all of your future endeavors and I will be right there to watch you achieve so much in your profound lives.

Thanks for letting me know you – celebrate!


©️ Thom Amundsen 6/2021

Wishing Dreams

A spirit guide might visit a passion

setting in stride life’s beauty is a ride.

Yet time does wait upon internal

remnants churning within my psyche.

While outside lives a life of pleasantry

agreeable acceptance and absolutes,

if only the traveling disdain subside.

Would then wishful dreams pass forward

an energy with love could line a reel.

May then we be happy with our fate.

May then lives a sigh for love too late.


©️ Thom Amundsen 6/2021

When a Picture Would Speak

A space just waits for you

wherever he might be his eyes

could speak to you

remember when we both knew

our lives would matter.

I wanted to have a forever

if only our imagination

would someway live our truths.

If any way could be enough

to speak to love

without all of the consuming concern.

I only want to see you there

a side table held our remember where.


©️ Thom Amundsen 6/2021

A Quiet Run

I took a jog recently,

you know the kind with all the right gear

and the temperature

seemed ready to suggest

this human being is part of the machine.

~

From inside my mind, decidedly

I picked a route far too familiar, that place, that region

where everyone wants to land

and no one takes the time to question why,

we just let ourselves step forward again.

~

It isn’t until later on a quiet side road

everything is familiar,

the aches in our joints,

the sweaty brow we cannot seem to hide,

we are all the same again inside.

~

Tonight I heard words that would suggest a different path,

one that appreciates my steps alone, my words, my world.


© Thom Amundsen 6/2021

Stories we remember

Though time may seem immediate

with passing turn hours, those minute

moments help define the way.

A certain glance, a look, a kiss

would thrill the heart of any man,

surely who might long refrain.

Setting where two people held kiss

an indiscretion speak sweet nostalgic

the world churning without a guess.

She stole his heart on that winter morning,

the angels, a week’s calendar breathing.


©️ Thom Amundsen 6/2021

Humility on a mountaintop

I sat on this peak the other day after a healthy climb of just over a few miles. What you see is quite a satisfying result of the hike. I sat looking over the horizon for about 30 minutes before returning from where I started. I had done this hike several times over the years, but never alone. I was even sharp enough to keep my license in my camel-pack in the event of an injury along the way. Aging I suppose contributes to making smarter decisions, but that’s not really that important right now.

What I do wish to focus upon is the impact this trip had upon my state of mind. To go the miles it took and the strenuous nature of the landscape I encountered was an accomplishment fills me with satisfaction. Living a healthy lifestyle is important to me these days, and the rewards are immeasurable. I could easily have remained at my campground and stewed about my life and the hardships I have to endure, ignoring someone much like me lost in their own world of poverty and sickness without near the capacity I have to take an invigorating hike on a beautiful afternoon in the north-woods. Can anyone relate? I hope so. We can easily find reasons to discount the opportunities that lay before us and rather than ignore them we must put the effort forth to experience life as we know it in the moment.

What I experienced on this hike was the beauty of nature around me. Certainly the vista at the top was the reward, but the walk to get there was as special making the whole a complete adventure. A long time ago a friend of mine suggested I pick up two rocks and carry them with equal weight in each of my hands and let them carry me up the mountain. I remember trying this years ago and it didn’t work. I was too preoccupied with holding the rocks than I was with letting them carry me. I let their weight move my wrists and my arms in such a motion that I naturally felt like I was gliding up the mountainside. I held onto them afterwards, a gift from the nature around me. I decided I will find a set of rocks upon every landscape I walk in the future and recognize the blessing they provide my journey.

The humility I felt when surveying the world before my eyes let me imagine how fortunate my life is what lays ahead of my future. These are the things important to our lives to appreciate life around us. There is beauty and elegance surrounds us all everywhere. Take a moment, breathe in and out, and rest our weary soul. Life has a certain reward.


© Thom Amundsen 6/2021

Wanting the fog to lift

His body had grown tired, waking to a daily chore

wanting only to be admired, not this brooding bore.

~

He would bed himself at night soak the linens in tear

wondering if ever she might understand his only fear.

~

Upon waking in the morning, the sunlight at his gaze

wouldn’t be long a yearning, scrambling in a maze

~

For it is when the fog will hold our deepest analogies

only to fashion a reaction bold, our proven fallacies.

~

The deeper he would dive to find the light of day

less again he’d feel alive, wishing only for yesterday.

~

There was a time I could love a foggy morning, the scenery

could create a magical fantasy, settling winds for you and me.


© Thom Amundsen 6/2021

A Week Doesn’t Matter

Tears remain the same,

the task ahead not as daunting as the moment,

yet we haven’t chosen to let go

of the moment.

Perhaps the force of human nature in all of its eventuality

will call our hand

where then we will be asked by being told,

it is time to move on, create another new world,

paint a new landscape, start another chapter.

Seek a new sunrise until our plans

burn to a crisp

and we are suggested to find another path,

step out of this rabbit hole

for today it is worn

and tomorrow there waits another

perhaps it will carry your outlook for years,

maybe weeks,

only hours.

Either way it will be different than today.

Oh, that is always what they say.

Wants and Needs

So much do I, but then it sems

and then they always tell me that,

what other reason could there be,

beyond the normalcy of our lives.

I was walking toward the exit one day,

no one behind or ahead of me,

could just as well have disappeared

and then I realized it doesn’t matter where,

someone will realize why, wonder why, ask

well just why this had to be so lasting,

what could possibly step in the way of our lives,

to be so traumatic, so self disciplined to suggest

this is my way,

and no matter how late I am to the game,

my playbook is all I have left to work with

and, and, end,

well the combination works in my head.


© Thom Amundsen 6/2021