Slice of Life Challenge 2021 Day 31: Begin, End

Today marks the final day of the Slice of Life challenge. I’ve deeply enjoyed the challenge of writing every day this month. I’ve grown as a writer and as a human in ways I’ll still be thinking about for weeks to come.

I tried to capture how I’m feeling on the last day of this challenge. I know it’s the end, but I don’t want to treat it as an end. I’d like to see it as the universe’s nudge to get me to start writing more often. So I thought I’d put this reverso poem out there. It’s meant to be read aloud from top to bottom, and then again from bottom to top.

I’ll also say this. This poem is a living reminder that I don’t always have to love my work. I will confess that I don’t 100% love this poem, and I’m not fully satisfied. But if I’ve learned anything about writing or myself in this past month, it’s that sometimes that happens. Sometimes I just don’t have adequate words to articulate my thoughts.

It’s still important to write them anyway.

A beginning
Ripe for
Energy, optimism
New and delightful things
To see
Wait around the corner
I can always hope
Gathering close
To hold
Head-full, heart-full learnings
Reflection, wisdom
Brings me to
An end

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27 Responses to “Slice of Life Challenge 2021 Day 31: Begin, End”

  1. Book Dragon Says:

    This is such a clever poem. (The mental gymnastics of having it to make sense going forward and backwards would have done me in at this point in time.) Bravo for succinctly summarizing our journey within a poem.

  2. arjeha Says:

    You are so right. We don’t have to always like what we write and that is important for our students to know as well. That’s why we have drafts and revisions. It is important to get our thoughts down and then tweak them when we are moved to. I have really enjoyed your posts over this month…your humor…your thoughtfulness…your insight. Thank you also for all of the comments you left on my posts as well.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      It’s been wonderful to read your work and be a part of a writing community with you, as well. I had to smile at the thought about drafts and revisions – those are 4-letter words in the eyes of some of my kiddos: “Mrs. Levin, I’m done!” (mmm-hmmm)…

  3. Fran Haley Says:

    Dear Lainie: First of all, every reflection and every sentence and line you write is a treasure. I didn’t love my own reverso Golden Shovels in the “comfort zone” piece – felt they needed more hammering, but I was too tired to wield the Golden Hammer anymore. The sentiment in your poem today resonates deeply with me. Let us see all we have done not as the ending of a Challenge, but the beginning of all the writing to come, “around the corner.” The next chapter, so to speak, of the ongoing story of our living, and writing, and our writing lives. I enjoyed reading your poem both ways – always feels like ocean currents, somehow – same big pool but tugging in different directions. The work of your hands and your heart is of extraordinary beauty and sparkle – always. I remain grateful for every bit.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thanks, Fran. It’s interesting that you mention the tug of ocean currents. I think that’s an incredibly apt metaphor in so many ways – tugging in different directions, keeping our heads above water…yes. Thank you for being such an important part of my OWN trusted reader circle. You. Are. WONDERFUL.

  4. lvahey Says:

    Thank you for the important reminders in your note, and for the nudge to write in new ways (all the time, not only in March). Congrats to you!

  5. gbrock Says:

    Your posts are so spiritual in a way. I love these sentiments:

    “I just don’t have adequate words to articulate my thoughts. It’s still important to write them anyway.”

    Your posts have brought such energy, I am thankful to have been able to read them and to have been a part of this journey with you.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thanks. You too! I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs and learning about your journey into teaching. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that grade school goes smoothly. It’s tough to do while you’re teaching, but you’ll be GREAT.

  6. hzreflections Says:

    Loved this poem! Thanks for sharing!! So creative.
    It was great following you and hearing your comments this month. Thank you for all your thoughts!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      And I’m grateful to YOU as well! It’s been fun getting to know you through your posts and your comments!

  7. Radutti Says:

    On the contrary, the poem is excellent and it thrives as a result of its structure.

    Really great sharing writing with you Lainie, keep listening to the universe’s nudges and I’ll be seeing you again! 🙂

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! It might not stop me from tinkering with it in my head, but I’m also okay releasing it into the world. I’ll keep an eye out for your writing as well!

  8. mschiubookawrites Says:

    Keep writing Lainie- your words pierce into my heart and soul. Being a perfectionist myself, I shy away from opportunities because I know they cannot be completed to my expectations. But your reflection about putting your words out there anyway is ESSENTIAL. For us and for our students. A truckload of thanks to you and your writing!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thanks to you as well! I’ve had a great time getting to know you and your writing better this month.

  9. vivian chen Says:

    While you may not be satisfied with it, I loved this poem so much. I don’t even know how one starts to write a poem like this. Thank you for sharing and for your thoughtful comments all month!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thanks, Vivian! I’ve written a couple of these so far – I’ve found that it’s helpful for me to picture two opposites, then focus on the line at the “fulcrum.” I have lots more practice to go, but I guess that’s the story of us all. I look forward to reading and writing with you more!

  10. Suzanne Says:

    You have gifted us with a brilliant closing. Not and ending but a finale. And better because it reads beautifully both forwards and backwards!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! Once I realized what I wanted to do with my writing today, the form seemed like a natural fit.

  11. Shaista Says:

    Whoa I love these reverso poems! HAve never had the wherewithal to try one myself though! Maybe someday…
    And yes, you are so right, what we’ve gained, the ways we’ve grown, will truly and wholly dawn upon us in some weeks. Gor now, it’s relief, excitement, and the glow from the warmth of a task accomplished we feel!

  12. Vicki Says:


  13. natashadomina Says:

    This works so well in both directions! What a joy to read!

  14. Anna Maria Says:

    This reminds me of a music piece titled Espejos. I love this type of poetry. I may attempt this with my students next week during our poetry week.

  15. britt Says:

    Wow!! So fun and creative! I have a note somewhere to try a reverso poem; I think it’ll be a real challenge for me ha! Thank you for sharing this month; I love, love, love your posts.

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