These days of celebrating, out on school nights and looking forward to the family and friends coming over Saturday, have lifted my mind off dogged concern for the details of my work. Not that I am less productive, or teaching sloppily. I am not carrying it around all the time in my head.
Laughing already at the crosswalk coming from the parking garage last night, K and I attempted to cross the broad lanes of Market on the 8 second warning light. I sped forward in heels, not my usual footwear, and pitched a bit too far forward. I was falling in slow motion trying to compensate. I landed ruffled by embarrassment, but unhurt. We arrived breathless at our “club.”
Today, opening the door to one group of students, eight first graders, I entertained myself by announcing it was my birthday and asking, “So, how old do you think I am?” Several answers were, ninety-two, twenty-two and one hundred twenty. Ha ha ha ha.
This evening, when I met a friend and her 94 year old dad at a local seafood cafe we started with fresh margaritas. Mine was lime. When our plates came, I reached for a catsup bottle which gassed as I took the lid off, splatting my arm and chest with several teaspoons of gooey red tomato paste. My gal friend began diving for napkins, but I enacted a cowboy shootout dying scene. The amount of blood spatter was impressive. I mopped it off my black shirt amused.
The central idea seems obvious. I have been loving myself and others by attending to having fun, using the occasion of a very big birthday year number as an excuse.
Finding a central idea in a discovery draft can be as awakening as falling in slow motion on the street, or spattering oneself with catsup. Blogging daily is a great exercise in watching for central threads in recent experiences.
Since “real” writers compose discovery drafts and search for their themes among their words, might we do ourselves (and our students) a favor by making time to discover these central ideas?