Slice of Life 2021, Day 30: Here I Am

Today marks Day 30 of the Slice of Life challenge. Join me as I work to write every day in March – and beyond!

For T. You inspire me.

In the middle of a highly scheduled day

In the middle of a hard-fought moment of plan time

In the middle of a to-do list that has grown up to my eyeballs

In the middle of my anxiety about how I’m going to get it all done

In the middle of a technology outage

In the middle of wondering how on earth I will move forward NOW –

There is a note,

An email from a student,

A deeply felt, heart-heavy piece.

It stops me.

It takes me by the shoulders and says look,
At this
Look at what I have given this world
Listen to me
For I give voice to
Those things
Which clamor for surface,
For air
For breath
Despite our efforts to push down,
Turn away,

It says
I will not be ignored
Or turned away
Or pushed down
I am your inner voice

And will I speak of light
And dark
And love
And conflict
And rising to the surface
And plunging down again

So speak to me
I am always there
Whether you hear me
Or not

Call me from the shadows
Beckon me from darkness
I will learn to spread light.

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21 Responses to “Slice of Life 2021, Day 30: Here I Am”

  1. arjeha Says:

    Sometimes when we are busiest not knowing which end is up something stops us in out tracks and makes us realize we are being heard, we do make a difference, we do touch lives.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Yes! It makes me glad and grateful that I do what I do. Teaching is an art, a calling – and I can’t forget that.

  2. djvichos Says:

    I love the shift from the to-do list demands to the poetry that stops you in your tracks. I love the repetition in the poem and the sifting through difficult emotions. I heart the line “clamor for surface”. Stunning!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you – I’m glad the form followed my thinking here, because that’s exactly what happened – I was in the middle of so much and this poem literally stopped and grabbed me. It’s what I needed today. =))

  3. hzreflections Says:

    Beautiful. Love. Amazing when things happen just at the right time.

  4. mschiubookawrites Says:

    Wow, this is a show stopper. I love how you build up to this moment and then sink into it. Just wow. This is why we teach.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      It absolutely is. And having this moment of beauty come to me in the middle of so much chaos – I knew I had to write.

  5. Rita K. Says:

    This is so beautiful. How well your expressed your frustration and then the transformation that the email provoked. Bless your efforts!

  6. Raivenne Says:

    When we’re on the verge of a spiral the universe always has a way to stop us in our tracks when we most need to take a moment, yes? A lovely slice, I enjoyed how this unfolded. Get out of the shadows of out minds and if we can’t be the light, ensure we reflect it.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Yes, for sure. I hope my student reads this poem and understands how powerful and impactful her OWN writing was on me today. Fingers crossed.

  7. theapplesinmyorchard Says:

    A wonderful reminder to stop and slow down, also a reminder that you are appreciated! Our students are so essential to us, it’s nice that the gift can be returned. P.S. -I love to hear from students – and you reminded me that I owe a return email to one, myself! Thanks!

  8. britt Says:

    YES. Yes to the to-do lists. Yes to things that can stop us in our tracks. So beautiful, I love how you’ve conveyed this shift in your day. 💜

  9. onathought Says:

    Such a powerful slice of the shift from to do to poetry.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thanks. The poem I received from my student – now THAT was a powerful shift for me. I’m glad I was able to convey at least a little bit of it.

  10. Fran Haley Says:

    We often go into teaching thinking we will make a difference for children… not anticipating the incredible difference they will make to us. We expect to shed light for them – and then we’re astonished by the brilliance they cast. What a gift, Lainie. Once when I told a group of colleagues that I keep learning from the kids, they looked at me like I was crazy. But I do. And we should. And here in your post – is exactly why.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you, Fran. You’re right. I think the kids do so much more for me than this world could ever know. If anyone asks how it’s possible to stay in such a tough profession for a lifetime, moments like these are the reasons why.

  11. lvahey Says:

    This poem stopped ME tonight. Thank you for slowing me down to read it, and find power in our work – the spreading of light.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a poem from that same student in return for this one. I hope we’re on to something!

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