The Urge To Move

Felt it?

feel it on occasion,

stuck in traffic seems plausible

in comparison to standing still

unable to navigate the next decision,

next choice,

perhaps a cathartic moment

awaits the imagination,

yet,

for the moment,

the urgency begins to build,

suggesting something has to break …

or are we always in a constant state of projection.

Advertisements

On Racism, Schools & Awareness

Whenever an act of racism occurs in my community, or in the world around me, I never know quite how to respond. My natural reaction is to be appalled and disappointed, then fear settles in, then uneasiness, followed by confusion. My gut tells me I want to figure out who to blame first, and then I want to understand how this impacts the people around me, specifically the students in my classroom.

1

Being a high school teacher has its perks. We see immediately what is on a young child’s mind, whether positive or negative. When something so blatant happens that shakes the community, it is sometimes difficult to get a read on how the message is interpreted. What rolls off one’s back as minor might plant a seed of contention in another’s. There certainly always seems to be a level of response to the ignorance of the action, specifically in this case, the desecrating of school walls with epitaphs and racial hatred. The important message to recognize is that it is out there for people to respond to, whether consciously driven or designed by unintentional circumstances. It is difficult to imagine racial epitaphs to be accidental; however, the motivation is unique in this situation.

The initial reports of this most recent incident are that the student was not fully aware of their actions. One could argue this is an attempt to save credibility as an organization, or the truth of the matter might be as simple and basic as it is being described. Whatever the answer to the action, the bottom line is that this unfortunate moment exposes a frightening part of our society that we would sometimes rather quiet than provide a voice of reaction.  As it is, this should be handled as a teaching moment for students, wherever and however involved.

Ironically, we are living in a present society that is increasingly accepting the notion of ‘alternative’ or fake news. Such terms are being bandied about with such frequency that the phrases, ‘Bowling Green Massacre’ and ‘Last night’s terrorism in Sweden’ have become household maxims, and the terrifying truth is they are believed statements by many, despite the originators coming out with statements otherwise.

The reality is that words of hatred have appeared on walls that our youth will see with frequency and then naturally react to afterward. So how do we go about repairing thescreen-shot-2017-02-28-at-5-11-55-pm damage? I think the real solution lies in what are the reasons these events occur, and how can we raise the consciousness of our young people to such a degree they begin to recognize the dangerous precedent of accepting racism rather than fighting to overcome its venomous impact on our society.

Accepting racism is the failure of our society to identify it as problematic to our youths’ value system. What this means is that rather than confront the issue, if we can quietly just pretend it away and not put dramatic focus upon a real issue, maybe it will simply go away. That is about as relevant as imagining that inane rhetoric is more reasonable than the truth from the leaders of our country. There is a saying that suggests, if it said enough times, then people begin to believe it as true. In the case of racism on the bathroom walls of our schools, there is a percentage of students that will certainly ‘buy into’ the hatred rather than recognize it is damaging to our society’s value system. This is where open discussion needs to begin.

When we speak of teaching moments, we have to clarify when and how these opportunities are going to happen. Rather than using band-aids on a segment of our society, we need to rally around the bigger picture. Our youth are the most impressionable people in our world, and their actions will be the foundation of the future of this country, one that is chock full of immediate change and adjustment as that mosaic of assimilation continues to take hold. Rather than rely upon hope without dialogue, we need to begin the conversations and continue to encourage them in meaningful and thoughtful ways. Perhaps then, words on a wall, or rhetoric meant to sway our society will become less and less powerful and the truth will begin to matter.

When Pain Is Real

No longer is a possibility an afterthought

No deeper can our hearts be further fraught

No more, no more,

We cannot circumvent our cursory passion.

~

When pain is real, oft consequence the lesser

Paralytic feature while truths shield the confessor

The breathing banter

Escapes with certainty, a frightening fashion.

~

While judgment acts svelte in universal cloak,

The mind, that human anxiety will love evoke

Takes over with a rigor

Unmatched by an innocence lost in decision.

~

What really happens when a heart is left broken,

Who might define the brevity of such misfortune.

Begin Now

When they said,

‘wait for tomorrow’ they might have followed

with a rhapsody of torment in eruptive skies.

For we do seek explosive reckoning,

when a sudden cathartic,

a ‘now’ moment as mother

always cried

in the midst of change,

what opportunity lies in the future

is exactly our temptation.

If only I might be that river,

that instead of being challenged with every crevice,

I might travel uninterrupted and able to carve

my own well drawn tale of luxury.

A positive note,

to accentuate a glorious sunrise,

always the same,

yet,

when understood to be all there really is,

the shimmer can be extraordinary …

Blind your eyes to the past

and shed layers to step free

Every Night

the satchel lays under the bed,

packed for size,

just the essentials that later define a life,

right now,

well, just a bag with some assorted goods.

Put me on a freight heading west and it suddenly,

like the click-clack of the tracks,

becomes everything we own in the world,

leaving the rest behind.

~

I think if I could live my life that way,

I might be less afraid of what I know today,

more intrigued by that which lies ahead,

those moments,

the brush of a shoulder,

a stranger’s smile on a sunny morning,

whenever any thoughts before that smile,

became surrounded by worry,

concern, defeatist theory, the everyday

glass half-empty man.

~

I occasionally look at the bag underneath my bed,

and see it sort of smiling knowing I will never lead.

Slipping Further

© Ester Rogers Photography

© Ester Rogers Photography

We know the mist

when in a morning of indecision,

glance further, hope for a sign,

yet we walk in wander seeing the same.

On an occasional daybreak,

we recognize fog,

a surreal enveloping storm of breeze,

teasing the ground,

to allow our mind to imagine,

a surreal perhaps spiritual mystique.

Speak of its beauty,

in delightful tones,

without any worry,

we watch the heat of morning

soon melt away its special fabric,

and go about our day.

Yet, deep inside the wandering,

when life has allowed us to travel,

beyond the normalcy of time,

into a reflection clouded by judgment,

its there we begin to feel

certain descents, perhaps ghouls

would inhabit our lonely minds.

There in the deep forest

where damp bark in wet soils,

we recall a need to hang on

perhaps use that alternate route,

we might see the distance,

without ever having to experience,

the certain beauty of losing one’s mind.

Tiresome Notions

When the news is simple with the same complaints,

only to fill the byte,

when I see the same woman walking through the day,

with new bruises

when I realize what little I have managed thus far

with personal endeavors

when sitting down to recognize my practiced routines

will be the same tomorrow

when society claims to be a free-thinking state of mind,

while the same doors remain shut

when glancing upon my fellow man I feel it necessary

to watch my back,

I’m tired,

I’m exhausted by a need to revolutionize

a way of life.

I want to simply appreciate

the world around me,

rather than

be a constant negotiator

of my lexicon.

I am that human being,

that same make of you,

my measures can be different,

if only we recognize our view

can offer hope,

rather than stifle,

can become reality,

rather than illusion.

When I think about all the things I have to do,

I am tired society,

I am tired of you.