Compartmentalizing on a Snowy Day

Today is the first substantial snow of the year. The ground is too warm–from its 67 degrees yesterday–for any flakes to linger on roads and sidewalks, but the grass and the trees are powdered sugar-dusted, and the fall has been constant since it was light enough to notice the flakes.

I’m not supposed to be blogging just now–my to-do list is rather daunting at the moment–but I feel like I’ve been sprinting through my day and I need fifteen minutes of quiet, of stillness. I suppose writing a blog entry demonstrates how poor I am at actually achieving real stillness, but I am completing a single task in doing this, concentrating on one thing, and that’s a milestone for me. (I even tried to manage to screw that up–the title of this post reminded me of a poem whose title I don’t remember and whose author escapes me and whose lines I can’t quote. Locating the poem, then, to reference properly, was not a success, and I spent five minutes with one hand on the keyboard and one hand poking the books on my shelf, willing one of them to turn into the anthology I wanted. If I had the correct anthology in my office, I could find it in a tick, because I remember where in the book it is, but I don’t remember what it’s called or who it’s by. Memory is such a strange and fickle thing.)

My Tuesdays and my Thursdays often feel like this. I teach back to back classes (which fill nearly three hours) in subjects I love, and I am always breathless by the end of the second. This afternoon found me having meetings with some students and then with a poet from the community who was looking for some basic feedback: was his writing “good enough” to bother continuing to write? It breaks my heart that he even considered this a necessary meeting, but I understand the anxiety. The best part of it is that I got to meet a cool new poet (who has apparently been writing his entire life) who isn’t a student, and I invited him to the open mic night that the awesome Casper College poetry class has started to hold twice a month. Hopefully he comes to that.

But that was another conversation to leave me somewhat breathless. (Maybe the real moral of the story is that Holly should learn to breathe between her sentences.) And so here I am, taking a few minutes to re-center before embarking on the rest of my afternoon. I do, at least, take a breath between the period and the next capital letter. Most of the time.

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