Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I was at a conference last week in Atlanta. My room was on the the 32nd floor of the hotel--which wasn't near the top--but if you knew me, you would know that that was still a problem. The center of the hotel is hollow, so you can look from the floor of the conference center (below the lobby) through to the covered skylight, nearly 50 stories above. See the picture? It made me dizzy to take it.

I looked out the window of my room once or twice. I did better if I didn't stand close. It was a lovely view, as you can see from the picture, but it made me too dizzy.

The elevators were see through, so going up or down made me dizzy. Made my ears pop. Made my stomach tumble. But I was at this conference with people who also made me dizzy: dizzy with how much they knew and how interesting their ideas were and what questions they were asking. Dizzy with their interest in life and in writing. They were interested in all sorts of things beyond writing, too, which explains why on the evening the conference ended I found myself on a ghost tour of Atlanta with them(walking around the city at night and learning about its history was fun; no ghosts showed themselves)and eating yummy dessert at midnight (see mine in the picture? dizzying in a different way, right?).

So, although the physical surroundings made me dizzy in spells, I think that the conference as a whole will make me dizzy for a while with the ideas that are swirling in my head. And that's a good thing, right? For a teacher to be dizzy with learning and ideas. I think so.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

snowy april

I want spring--and spring is on its way. I can feel it. I can see the daffodils and hyacinths beginning to bloom, and the tulips are not far behind. Some of the willows are starting to leaf, and there is sometimes a hint of summer warmth in the air. And then, Sunday morning, this is what I saw out the back door: Beautiful, but Not Spring. Luckily, it didn't last long. Today, Tuesday, there is hardly anything left except a few cotton puffs of snow here and there. Soon, I hope, we'll use the picnic table for eating outdoors in the warm. And I will remember that sometimes things we don't wish for happen to us anyway, or they happen when we don't want them--after all, this would be very welcome on December 24. I will try to see beauty in life's unexpected (and unwanted) events, but I will probably still wish they will go away as quickly as a spring snowfall.