One of the things I like best about the Slice of Life Challenge is the way that the expectation of daily writing gets me thinking about what I will write each day. Something will catch my eye and I will find myself writing in my head, thinking about how to frame what I have to say.
Some days the writing comes fairly easily and I know generally where I am going with the writing. That is especially true when I’ve taken a photo that I know will guide my writing direction. Other days the writing is a struggle and I flounder around, flipping and flopping, grabbing onto this topic and that, finding it hard to land on what I want to say.
I’ve bounced from topic to topic today. I could write about interviewing an amazing group of teachers this morning for our upcoming Invitational Summer Institute. I love the way that this “work” is so energizing. There is nothing like teachers talking about what drives their instructional choices and clearly seeing their passion for students and their well-being to fill me with hope and possibility.
I thought about writing about two separate essays I read this week that serendipitously landed in my feed on consecutive days. One is an essay by Ann Patchett called How to Practice about downsizing belongings so that someone else will not have to do it after your death. This is an amazing piece weaving stories of belongings, why she has them and why she no longer needs them and the guilt that comes with getting rid of something that is still useful. The other called Marie Kondo and the Privilege of Clutter is about groups of people, particularly refugees and those immigrating because of war and danger, who do not have the luxury of having items passed down for generations, of accumulation from childhood and how that shapes their view of belongings. My mind has swirled since reading these earlier this week–thinking about the different roles that belongings play in different phases of my life and why it is so hard to let go of some things, even when they have outlived their usefulness for me.
And now I am thinking about which of these articles is a mirror for me, reflecting my experiences and which may be a window into another way of thinking. Or maybe I’m just stretching for an excuse to include this photo from today’s walk of the clouds reflected on the shiny surface of the sand.