Posts Tagged ‘teacher’

The heart doesn’t have perfectionism.
            —Joi Sharp

All night I dreamt
I was teaching a class
I’d never prepared for.
I’d never even seen
the textbook,
didn’t have a roster
for the students,
and couldn’t understand
how I’d arrived in this place
where I seemed destined
to let everyone down.
Even the chalk wouldn’t work
on the chalkboard.
All night I fought
an inner monster,
the one that says,
You are not enough.
All night it chased me
through the channels
of my fears, those
synaptic paths
well-traveled for years.
Oh world, let me be
the student.
Let me be one
who learns to live
through the heart,
who loves with confidence.
Let me study the ways
love meets the monster—
not with a fight
but with indifference.

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I am still learning how to dance with grief—
it leads me through strange sequences,
intricate steps I have yet to master.
Just as I think I have learned
what comes next, I stumble, I step
on my own feet, I trip, I fall. I never
ask myself if this is a dance I want to learn.
It’s the dance I’ve been invited to dance.
If asked, I might have said no. But
today, grief holds me tightly, as if
to keep me from falling. Then loosens
its grasp as I let myself be led.
I am a student in trust. And we glide,
and I’m spun, and sometimes
we just stand, this stillness
its own kind of dance
I am slow to learn.

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What wants to happen?

            —Joi Sharp



Today it is the tow truck

that leads me back to myself.

For though I call the driver

and though I receive

a text that says he is coming

and though I have paid

my AAA bill on time, the tow

truck does not arrive.

Though I did everything right.

Though the same actions have worked before.

Still the world has not turned out

the way I expected, the way

I want it to. The car

is still stranded. The tow truck

is still not here. Oh failure,

how clearly it shows my attachment

to outcome. How clearly it

shows me the world is in charge.

I look for more doors to knock on,

try to plan more ways to control.

Meanwhile, I am the door.

Meanwhile, this chance

to let go.

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In the Maze Again

It’s not shame itself we want to lose

but the shame about our shame.

Shame itself is as innocent

as bliss or love or joy, only

we seldom want it to linger.

A woman walks through rows of corn

and knows her own shadow.

She does not lament its shape,

but uses it to guide her.

There is teacher in everything,

even the corn dried on the stalk. Even

the wanting to push shame away.

Even the arm that rises up

to embrace our own shadow,

impossible as it is.

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listening tanka

perhaps it was trying
to tell me something,
the full moon—
how close the grass
under my feet

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for JS

The first thing I told you
was that I did not need a teacher,
and you laughed and told me
I was ripe. Why did I call?
I knew my world was broken
beyond my ability to fix it,
though I still believed there
was something to fix,
and you led me to this place
where all that is dejected, rejected,
crashed and crushed is just
as it is meant to be. And in every
broken moment, wonder. In every
defeated now, possibility. Lead me.
I love how we laugh through tears each time
I see how I’ve fooled myself. Again.
How you make it a gift to be a fool.
I love how you see through
all the veils I have hung and
allow them to drop, no tugging,
no cutting, just letting them
fall as they will until I shine
like a moon in your sun. When I asked
you to be my teacher, I did
not yet know it would be you.

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Imagine if the sun
said to the moon
“This sky’s not big enough
for the both of us.”

Instead, it gives
unceasingly light
so that they both
can shine.

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