Thursday, December 07, 2006

How to talk with kids, have kids write and feel safe about how children are affected in the world by war and the nasty ways of adults? It is true they know about the cruelty, inequity, unfairness, ugliness of the world. It is true some are living with these things in their homes. It is true that the human story if full of the suffering of innocents. We are so quick to sully innocence, as if we don't want anyone left unsmeared. THAT would be too painful. I think children want to, many of them, most of them, want to do good in the world, make the world a better place, help the world (we are the world we are the children blah blah blah.) Here's the thing: children are not short adults and what they know is not the same as what they have been exposed to - okay that is the case with adults too. What do they though these kids I work with, what do they understand or internalize about the world that bombards them constantly? INTERNALIZE! HAH! How much space do we allow for that in the wasl world? That is what I try to offer - a space to write and think and be and question and free to be you and me hi marlo! This is going swimmingly well I think.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

awake in the night thinking about what I am going to teach, what I have to teach, what I can bring to sixth graders that might wake them up that might make a difference in their lives that might hit them as my daughter says in the demographic thinking about what their teacher who is quitting teaching because she's discouraged because her feelings get hurt because the kids are careless the kids are thoughtless the kids disregard adult feelings are disaffected are disinclined to behave are left out are in public frigging school where so many decisions have been made to diseducate disenfranchise discard them because they go to frigging public school what she said the teacher what she wants which is for me to make some sense of a story that is the basis of an international project called machinto based on a picturebook that tells the story horrific and inappropriate for children but which is based on true events and tells the story of a three year old child eating a tomato when the a bomb hit nagasaki who dying with mouth full of tomato tells her mother i want more so her mother combs the devastated city looking for more tomatoes her daughter's voice crying i want more returning to find the child dead but a bird lifting over the city crying i want more which is heartrendingly awful and i am supposed to come up with something a writing prompt a series of writing prompts to connect the kids with this horror and this pathos and this longing and all of this with life affirming lilt and optimism the last part because i will inflict optimism and uplift and possibility that is my job

Saturday, December 02, 2006

windows open
even when they don't

newage flute on the stereo
my mind in a tight fist

skylight over my left shoulder
blue sky and cobweb

my dog is 10 years old
my daughter's dog is dead

my green tea mug reads
santa's spirit santa's spirit santa's sp

get out of my own way get out of my own way get out of my own way get out of my own way
i want my own way.