Maybe there is a God. I just came home and sat down in the kitchen to grade some papers and input some grades, but the internet is buggy and slow, and I thought, “maybe this is the message” that I am trading my soul for work. I even remember myself  pontificating in class today with some eloquence about the need to find a time, place and approach to writing that is conducive to thoughtfulness and creation.

Plopping myself down in the nearest chair to grade is not a good practice of my preaching.

So I came out here to the back porch. After this afternoon’s heavy rains the sky is now lit up with a distant sun that somehow out of impermeable gray painted a pink monochrome against the trees in my backyard. Emma is filming the scene because it is “so cool.” The warm, muggy air is nothing like a mid-October evening should be, and there is an uneasy and unsettled expectedness in my head.

But I don’t know what I am expecting. Maybe some insights into something? Maybe a poem will crawl out of a burrow and land on this page? Maybe just this—a few words stolen from a busy night small enough to remind me to slow down—and big enough to remind me that I can’t be different from my students, for no writer is beyond practicing the mundane. It is the only way, to paraphrase Thoreau, to stir the torpid snake of our thoughts into a renewed life.

These last few minutes of “free” time need to be spent shaking off the detritus of the day and welcoming the night ahead, which for me means a few hours of singing folk songs in a local pub and the chance to celebrate both humility and grandeur in the same breath, for I am a very small potato in a very large and very good stew—but at least I am in the stew.

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