All in a Golden Afternoon

It’s been a while since I had publishing news to share but my latest article is out now in Living Education Journal! The topic is integrating nature in a study of the language arts and includes tales of Mama Jones during my late elementary/middle school years when I was home schooled.

Living Education Journal is published both in print and online. The online version can be accessed here.

For more information, the main page for the journal can be found here.

Once Upon a Time I Knew a Magic Man

Remember a while ago when I referenced my Describing the Imagination Professor?

“Under the gentle guidance of a universally-beloved 80-year-old British professor,  we studied theory of children’s imagination and discovery and examined children’s stories an artwork as we would have a literary classic. He allowed us the freedom to make our final product a creative endeavor,” and then I wrote about the screen play I had wrote this past summer.

This is him reading Calvino to us around the campfire:

 

 

This is the two of us at the end of term celebration. IMG_7229

He asked me to send me my screenplay so that he could read it again at more leisure when he got back to England. I was planning to clean it up and revise it for a film festival that fall, before sending it to him. Then life got nuts, and I put it off for another time. Except that I got word in March he had passed away suddenly.

It didn’t seem real at first, but as the weeks past, I found myself increasingly unsettled. Times in the past that I have left a beloved professor or teacher, I have often been able to get in touch with them for questions or guidance, or returned for a visit or a chat. The fact that Michael is gone still seems like an impossibility. His influence and inspiration permeated so much  more of my own than I ever could have imagined, including the trickle-down effect to my students. In making sense of my own grief I wrote a song for him, which I have (roughly) recorded and linked below. The lyrics are linked in the song description on YouTube. In the absence of a better title, I have simply titled it “For Michael.”

“Hello… It’s Me” or “But I promised myself I wouldn’t use Adele lyrics as a title”

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Well, here we are. Emerging yet again, after yet another blogging hiatus.  How can the last eight months be summed up?

Complex. Textured. Intense. Beautiful.

It’s difficult to articulate, because the time that has elapsed since that golden summer on the mountain have been at some moments the most difficult, painful, and even fearful in recent memory and at other points jeweled with some of the sweetest memories, victorious triumphs, and the dearest people who in a variety of forms have been a tangible expression of hope. I think that’s what makes the last eight months particularly beautiful in its complexity.

Can color and light truly be appreciated without shadow? Can the swell of a crescendo have any power without the moments of pianissimo? Can the ending to a story be happy without the preceding moments of fear, struggle and even despair?

Looking back over the last eight months, the overwhelming emotion is thankfulness. I am thankful to the Artist who paints light among the shadow, the Author pens a new chapter after a cliff hanger, and the Composer who scores both major and minor keys.

The last eight months gives me tremendous excitement and anticipation for the next seven months and beyond.

To quote J.M. Barrie: “Forward, brave hearts. To what adventures I cannot tell, but I know that your God is watching to see whether you are adventurous.”