This morning I keep thinking of what Kerouac said, about one day finding the right words and that they’d be simple. And yesterday working with students on final paper directions and thesis statements, what they wanted to say with the final written work…. Do what you want. Whatever’s in your head, be it a nay or a yelling yay, follow your own onus. I asked them, “What do you want to say?” One said, “Plath is inspired by her own depression.” I smiled, ricocheted back, “Then say that.” But, going outside the classroom, and into our everyday-everyday, we have to take note of what we have in front of us, and that’s just the day, the moment we’re in. And that moment is where we need be wild in our own onus. Be wild, creative… too often with formal instruction I feel we’re focused on the instillment and inoculation of formalism and formality, profuse pattern and not enough endorsement of instinct investment. Not saying any one way to teach is wrong… in fact I’m not even addressing teaching with this jot. I’m citing life. YOUR life. The student’s life. LIFE. Keep all simple, singular… that simplicity, singularity? Do. What. YOU. Want.
I know it’s been repeated with galactic exhaustiveness, I know. I’m merely sharing what’s in my meditative climate this morning. I don’t need positive reinforcement, or any remedy for negative quakes. All I need is self-trust in that what I’m doing is the right thing. And that is an idea I share with my “students”— Before coming to me, have a talk with yourself, and try knowing that what your first impulse was could very well be the right direction.
This morning, tell yourself that you’re doing something right— No, something amazing. Whatever you do… teaching, baking cakes, selling wine, cleaning hotel rooms, customer service, staying home and being a mom or dad…. What you’re doing is resplendent. And people notice. Keep your steps in creative containment. Keep your strides simple… ‘cause in that apparent simplicity there is voluminous expansiveness. You already have the right words, I’m telling myself this morning. They may be simple, and they may not be. Trying to keep them simple, but I’ve never been too excelled in that right. Trying, though…. trying. Trusting myself, more than I ever have. Not looking for new directions, or some new approach. What I’m doing is more than merely ‘fine’, and yes at times there may be warranted amendment, adjustment, slight fix, but for now I’m just sauntering at the line dividing my 12.
I think of other quotes I’ve used over my teaching years, like the virtual shake-me-by-the-shoulders of Malcom X— “If you have no critics, you’ll likely have no success.” No more fear. Not at my age. None of us should fear any of our impulses, or anyone’s reaction. If they’re wrong, find out, learn, prove to yourself they’re “wrong”. And even if they are, or one is, you learn from it, so tally it a success and not a sink.
Love morrows like this, and only wanted to dived and distribute my sentiments. Apologies if it annoyed, or interrupted. And if it did, then I learn. The lesson is simple, but successful and multitudinous in gem. We have our lives, stories, and always ought be in the anti-formalist student-seat.