30 poems in 30 days…poof, April is done.
Today’s poem was inspired by the art I saw carved in the sand on my walk today and the power of fleeting experiences.
Swoops and swirls
scratched in the sand
transform the expanses of low tide
into a canvas
The view from above
reveals a seascape
nautilus shells and giant kelp
dwarfing people who mill around
brushstrokes along the shoreline
Like voices spoken into the wind,
laughter shared between friends,
the magic is elusive
rising tides erase each mark
washing the canvas
into the sea
Though seemingly temporary
leave trails in our brains
and on our hearts
A canvas wiped clean
for reimagined creations
sand and sea
is time enough
to make a mark
As I walked down the beach this afternoon my eye caught the juxtaposition of the massive cliff walls and a small stack of beach pebbles. I found myself thinking about magnitude–the contrast of big and small.
I chatted on the phone earlier today with someone from an organization not directly related to education. She was describing the struggles they have in their organization with clear, concise communication of complicated ideas. The same struggles we are always talking to teachers about…from kindergarten to college. Add the equity piece, the fact that some people have tremendous access and opportunity–often based on financial status and skin color–and the dilemma goes from a stack of small stones to an enormous cliff that crumbles and slips at unexpected moments.
Those cliffs keep me up at night, my efforts dwarfed by their magnitude, overwhelming me with the impossibility of the lift. I find myself drawn to the pebbles. They fit perfectly in my hand as I rub my fingers over their surface, smoothing and soothing as I follow the path nature left before me. I pick one up, adding it my carefully balanced stack, wondering how many I can carry before they topple.
Luckily, I’ve come to the place in my career where I don’t have to decide between the cliffs and the pebbles. I try my best to exert influence where I have the agency to do things that matter…even if they only matter to a few. But my eye remains on the issues of magnitude…maybe if I keep stacking those small stones near the small stones of my colleagues and allies our stacks will grow to solutions of magnitude. Those nightmares that keep me up at night will transform into dreams come true. Maybe this art I found on the beach today is a talisman for the future.