Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The one with Sally talking in too many metaphors

Synchronicity. You know what I mean, right? The Jungian idea that there is meaning in unrelated events. Sort of. Like you are thinking intently of a geographically distant friend one morning and you find out that evening that her mother died around the time you were thinking of her. Maybe it's a thing. Maybe it's not a thing.

Maybe we can go ahead and say it is a thing because what's stopping us? I don't mean magical thinking or superstition that keeps us from making decisions. I'm not talking about "I must paint my living room blue so the fairies will visit" or "It is God's will that I give up my rational thinking for my husband to make all the decisions". I'm not talking about crazy or deluded or giving up free will. I'm just talking about happy, or unhappy, coincidences that make you turn your head and say, "Ok, so that happened. Ok then."

Maybe it's confirmation bias. Sometimes it probably is. I am focused on, say, logarithmic spirals, and suddenly they are everywhere. I'm ruminating on my higher purpose and the bumper sticker on the car in front of me reminds me that God is not mad at me.

But there's this other thing going on in my life of late, not really synchronicity or confirmation bias, but more like the rod cells in my eyes are noticing things the cone cells in my eyes are distracted from by pretty colors all around me. I'm noticing things out of the corner of my eye these days. I'm starting to collect bits and pieces of information that seem, all alone and out of context, just odd bits of flotsam, but when put into a large bucket with all the other bits, are starting to add up to something.

Yes, I'm talking about my classroom.

And yes, that's all I'm going to say about it here.

It's just, it's like I'm tuning into to a radio station. To a numbers station. From Russia. In 1989. Odeen. Dvah. Tri. Chteri. Pyat. Null. 

I'm catching the message midway though.

On an analog radio in a basement.

I don't have a one-time pad to help me decode.

And all I can do is listen, record, watch, and be my best damned version of my best self for the of my life.

She sat in her classroom. They were all writing. Tell me about a time you felt God in your life, she had prompted them. She was teaching them about Isaiah. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Tell me about the light you see. She'd told them stories of her life. They wrote, and she wrote, too, thinking about the question. Things that have come to pass. Things that might. The words scribbled onto the page in her purple ink and suddenly she was at peace with some things. She looked up into the semi-darkness. They were all still writing.

Friday they will write about Jeremiah.

Eventually the words will work out.

Or they won't.

But I'm ripples in a still pond, baby. I'm a middle school teacher.

I know where my influence ends, and it is related to my field: we are infinite.

I may never crack the code but I'm going to stay tuned in.

Just in case the message is for me.


  1. This one gives me chills. Thanks.

  2. I love your last two lines. You're such a good teacher.

    Also the first paragraph. Of course.