There are many many factors contributing to life's difficulties and busyness, and I don't feel like this is the time or place to really go into it, but suffice to say, I've been going through a period of burn out. Burn out on school, and church. I'm burned out on people--some very critical and exhausting people.
However, I will say this, that even this time--this funk, I guess-there is still goodness. For one thing, I have learned that with all of my heart, I believe that encouragement will carry people much farther than criticism..."constructive" or not. I am thankful for this, and hopefully a better person because of it. I hope (hope hope hope) that the next time I am in the position to criticize, that I choose to encourage. I hope I choose to search for goodness.
Also I recently attended a literacy conference required, but still enjoyed, for my undergrad work. It was just what I needed to get me through I think. To keep me going and hoping and trying and dreaming. It reminded me of not just why I want to teach, but it even reminded me of the loveliness in the people I may have the honor to work around and with someday.
I met a lady who did a session on found poetry. Found poetry takes words straight from a text (we used an excerpt from The Tale of Despereaux). You use the authors own words, fragments, etc. and restring them to create a poem. Simple enough, but powerful.
More powerful than the strategy though was the woman who taught the session. She was quiet and passionate and giving. With everything in her, she wanted us to create a poem close to us. She wanted us to share and to learn, and to connect. She created a beautiful almost unexplainable sense of community with the people in that room. We shared and laughed and even cried together.Coming through this time of being face to face with critical, negative people, this was a chance to regain some confidence in humans in general.
When I wrote my poem, in this rich, warm, environment--a resting place really. It was cathartic. Here it is:
The Dark ThingsSomedays the dark things win,the days that are deep down, and heavy heartedThe dark things are down in our shaded souls, tremendous, cold and vast,When try as we may, we cannot imagine life any other way.We cannot pull ourselves from those dungeons deep and spiraled down.We know what it is to want.But we know to, that it's not all that we are,We know in us lies light and loveliness, beauty and bravery,and that quiet, wild, courage to carry us throughbut that all seems worlds away, in some high castle tower.For somedays, some days, the dark things win.
So thank you, Lisa Patrick, where ever you are. You got me through.