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,
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,
Ignore

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
And
I will learn to spread light.

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

21 thoughts on “Slice of Life 2021, Day 30: Here I Am

  1. 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.

    1. 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. 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!

    1. 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. =))

    1. 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.

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

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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. 💜

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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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