All Shall Be Well
“The novel we sit down to write, and the one we end up writing may be very different, just as the Jesus we grasp and the Jesus who grasps us may also differ.” Madeleine L’Engle, Walking On Water
“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability.” -Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water
I eat the words of others because I am hungry for my own. The novel I am writing is not the one I expected. My life is not what I expected. Never once as I sat in English class in high school did I think I would find myself back there as a teacher. High school was a stage, a season, and I endured it. I didn’t look back when I left. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so hasty to leave. The joke was on me; I live there now.
Students tell me now that they want to become English teachers, too. I am astonished. I want to ask them why? and Are you sure? I go mind-numb from grading really terrible papers. Am I really making this look like it’s so much fun? I don’t know. I do have fun, sometimes. But it’s been hard, recently.
I impact certain students, and I know they will remember me. I go the extra mile to help them succeed. And then I have students that I can never impact. Wounded and numb they come to me, and wounded and numb they will continue on. They will not remember me, and I will not want to remember them. Such is life?
I want to find meaning. I go to my bookshelf and come away with a veritable bouquet of books in my arms. I leaf through them, hungry. I look for meaning, eyes searching for high-lighted, underlined words from past seasons. I am willing to stitch it together like some kind of Frankenstein-philosophy if necessary. I snack on words, phrases, but I am still hungry.
God, help me, I know what I lack. Help me know what I own.
“You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable, and for failures.” -Aton Tchekhov
Ah, but I am always searching for successes! All of life is learning and all of learning is making mistakes. I have made so many recently. Up, up and try again. This is the daily rebirth we and the sun are bound to. Yet we are not less gloriously created than the sun.
‘It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.’ -Julian of Norwich