September 27, 2016

“Autumn is a second spring when all the leaves are flowers.” (Albert Camus)

I love this quote because even though fall is a time of letting go, I find it is a time when parts of me come alive. The savory smells, warm colors, crisp mornings, and busy squirrels are restorative even as they remind me that preparations for winter must be made. I love the sense of hanging on to the last bit of warmth, the last leaf, the close wrapping of sweaters around the soul. Perhaps it is the reflective nature of fall that makes it a hopeful time for me.

My 9th grandchild was born last Friday (9/23). With his birth came the reminder that love and forgiveness are powerful beyond our understanding. Love has its seasons and its autumn can bring a second spring.

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September 13, 2016

Tonight I’m generating a list that I might write from in the future.

Things I love about the Piano:

  • black and white keys
  • tactile pleasure
  • running scales
  • patterns of twos and threes, threes and fours, fives and ones
  • touches
  • legato
  • staccato
  • martellato
  • appoggiatura
  • trill
  • mordent
  • pedals
  • playing octaves from your toes
  • Chopin in the evening
  • Mozart in the morning
  • Hanon
  • sitting under the piano while my mom played
  • shiny ebony finish, so shiny you can see your reflection
  • Bosendorfer
  • arpeggios
  • 1890 Steinway at church with real ivory keys
  • The book, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank:  Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier
  • form
  • “play with authority”
  • Brahms’ Intermezzo Opus 118, No. 2
  • hand position and apples
  • elbows and balloons
  • movement
  • imagery
  • phrase, melodic arch
  • bass
  • student-teacher
  • teacher-student
  • small fingers riding on my hand

September 6, 2016

Today was the first day of school in the county where I teach. It’s the beginning of my 19th year of teaching. It feels different this time in large part, I believe, to the influence of this writing community.

How is it different? I feel happier because of some deeper understandings and commitments I’ve made to myself.

I’ve given myself permission to:

— set boundaries on what/how  I  will commit my time, energy, and talents.

— celebrate small achievements (like writing this post) rather than wallowing in all there is to do.

— find a few teachers at my school who want to be learners with me.

These few permissions have given me a window of optimism, a fresh field in which to grow.

Thank you, my Slice of Life community, for helping me feel supported and less alone. Thank you for your stories of courage, failures, successes, and beautiful insights into your lives in and out of school. Thank you for thoughtful reflections, “wondrous words,” poetry, and brilliance.