Summer has officially ended, the fog is rolling in, I’ve entered the new school year both as a teacher and a parent, and after several months of silence I’m trying to get my words flowing again.
The title of this blog, No mo’ flow, was meant to be a somewhat ironic reference to menopause: ironic because the words flow where the menstrual cycle does no longer. Yet I have of late been stymied, blocked, dried up … the irony has been lost these past few months.
My creative energies have been directed elsewhere: to photography, to family, and to my teaching practice. The social justice issues to which I have dedicated so many of my posts have overwhelmed me, leaving me wordless. The shooting and protests in Ferguson, domestic violence and the NFL reaction, mega-drought and other climatic events, continuing assaults on women’s rights to health care, abductions and disease in Africa, beheadings and bombings in the Middle East — it’s more than my overloaded brain can comment on.
I wonder where my reasoning powers went. It’s as if my emotional responses drove all cogent thought from my mind, leaving me either sniveling or scrambling for escape. Perhaps menopause is rocking my world more than I let on.
And perhaps the down time is a necessary pause, leaving the plot fallow for future brilliance, letting thoughts simmer so they blend more harmoniously. One can always hope…
In terms of priorities, I choose hope. The downward thunk of my heart at the possibility of yet another war cannot erase the eternal desire for peace I carry deep within. My frustration with students who disrespectfully disrupt in favor of their own immediate needs and wants doesn’t chase away my belief that they might one day bring about the change our world clamors for. My knowledge that my daughter makes the earth she walks on a better place gives me satisfaction that I’ve contributed positively in a big way.
Art and beauty keep my hope alive in the darkest days of the news cycle. Franz Kafka said, “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” With all due respect, I would amend his quote to say “… never loses hope.” What became a trite campaign slogan in 2008 needs to be reborn in our spirit so we don’t lose ourselves in cynicism or escapism.
Here’s hoping for that silver — or golden — lining …