Fragmented

6:30 am
Just going to try to get this written before the kids get downstairs. Don’t expect it to be my best slice, but things are *busy* these days. Nothing like taking over a class mid-semester (and supporting the two teachers who are picking up the other ones) to keep me on my toes. If I can squeeze out 10 minutes, I’m going to call this my slice because today will be full.

[The kids woke up. Breakfast. Out the door.]

10:30am
Ok, so I didn’t finish this morning. Maybe I can edit this afternoon & cobble something together. One good thing about teaching writing is that, if I write alongside them, I get a little writing time, too. This week & next we’re looking at integrating music and writing. Today’s prompt is Beethoven’s Minuet in G & they’re supposedly thinking about atmosphere. I don’t know what they’re writing, but at least m
ost of them are physically writing. Of course, some are not. Some stare, almost defiant. Two are chatting.

[Another teacher came in, looking for my advice about a student with an IEP. Turns out that IEPs don’t go away just because I picked up an extra class…]

2:10
Now’s my moment. If I slice now I can do a quick edit when I get home & up it goes. Hmm… what to write about ? Book Sale – we’ve collected used books all year long to sell at the kids’ school’s Book Sale. This weekend we sorted a boxed hundreds of books. Maybe describe the physical feeling of books – the handling of them. But easier and easier for me to give away (though not my own)! Today we took 624 books (well, more or less: we fudged the numbers a little so that they were even) to the school at 8am. We ferried them out of the gray minivan, across the street, up the steps, through the front door, and into the lobby. Pause. Into the gym and onto the stage. Box after box. Sorted and

[Another teacher came in with a question. Then the principal swang by with a question. Then the Guidance Counselor called.]

7:02pm
Here I am. I have 13 minutes until the boys come tearing into the house & we start the bedtime routine. I promised a friend I would return her call 12 minutes ago. One of the cats just yowled in the backyard (where a skunk sprayed last night). The only edits I’ve managed are to add the interruptions.

Today I’m fragmented. Reflection is hard to come by. Story is escaping me and even the details slip away. I need to get my head wrapped around this new course, need to get to know my students, calm their parents, help my sick colleague, pay attention to the students I already love, play with my own boys, laugh with my husband… I need to feed the cats, make the lunches, wash the dishes. All these little pieces of my life & I’m just going to have to enjoy them as they go by because that’s all I’m going to get right now.

Somebody in some blog somewhere [Update – this is the post I was thinking of] recently posted about kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. What I’m realizing as I write is that kintsugi depends on having something that is broken, something that is fragmented. I bet the literature on kintsugi doesn’t tell about the moment the vase slipped from her hands, the way the pot hit the hard earth, how she wept when she saw the mess, how she had to take a deep breath, remind herself that the fragments themselves held beauty. No one talks about the hope she mustered as she gathered the shards and put them carefully into a safe place, fingers crossed that someday there would be gold – or words, or love – enough to create beauty from the fragments. She just has to wait.

7:15 – the door just opened (they really are good kids). I’m going to post without the Slice of Life picture or anything. And no editing. Deep breath – here it goes. Maybe I’ll edit and add the picture later.

 

29 thoughts on “Fragmented

  1. The feeling of being overwhelmed and very, very busy rang through very clearly in this piece. And yet, you still managed a slice! Amazing how, even in the busiest times, things get done. I hope somewhere in all of this, you find a minute amount of time for yourself. Thank you for sharing, even at your busiest!

    Like

  2. I’m also impressed that you managed a slice, and especially this one. It conveys the crazy busy, but also the reflective. I loved the paragraph you wrote about kintsugi and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That paragraph there, the one about the gold repair to the vase and how you relate to the woman who dropped it. Wow! Sometimes when we just write without editing, some good stuff comes to the surface.

    Like

    1. Exactly! I was grateful to the universe that I have started a more disciplined writing practice – the kintsugi metaphor appeared out of nowhere and has really helped me stay grounded during this busy time.

      Like

  4. They say that when you excerise to get in 30 minutes a day and it will be just as effective if you do it in 10 minute bursts, you just proved that writing can happen the same way! I’m glad you didn’t give up, didn’t pause for perfection(somehow that would have taken away from the piece). Thanks for sharing your crazy day with us!

    Like

  5. Amanda, this is a fabulous slice of life–so real–so cobbled (I love that word)–and still, so reflective. Nope, we don’t hear about the moment the pot breaks, but we all know the feeling.

    Like

  6. Amanda, your words flow in a pattern that exhibits your harried mood but in a pattern that is so real and powerful. Great job of integrating the kintsugi thoughts from Tabatha Yeatts’ post. I like this free-form style of wrtiing that gets the thoughts out in spurts.

    Like

    1. Thank you, thank you for reminding me about Tabatha Yeatts’ post. I was able to go over there and thank her – the metaphor has become a powerful one for me and I’m really happy that I was able to acknowledge its origin.

      Like

  7. Oh, Amanda, I’ve missed reading you. All of this is a post/story of its own: “I bet the literature on kintsugi doesn’t tell about the moment the vase slipped from her hands, the way the pot hit the hard earth, how she wept when she saw the mess, how she had to take a deep breath, remind herself that the fragments themselves held beauty. No one talks about the hope she mustered as she gathered the shards and put them carefully into a safe place, fingers crossed that someday there would be gold – or words, or love – enough to create beauty from the fragments. She just has to wait.” It’s just so beautiful, as are the little moments and slices of life you capture so vividly. There’s a whole lotta gold in this here “fragment” of yours.

    Like

  8. Amanda, I also loved this slice! Like several others, my favorite paragraph was the paragraph on kintsugi- so, so, beautifully written! Wishing you peace in the storm!

    Like

    1. Thanks! I didn’t really even notice the repeated structure. I’m kind of glad you commented today so that I could go back and re-see it. The kintsugi metaphor is helping me stay calm in the midst of a mini-storm of busy-ness.

      Like

  9. Hi Amanda! Thanks for coming by to let me know that the concept of kintsugi is meaningful for you! You have a lot of beauty in all these bits and pieces of your day. A poet-friend has said that she finds kintsugi applicable to her life because her physical problems have made her feel like she is cobbling herself together. So grateful we can use the gold of creativity and compassion to make “precious scars.”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s