For much of the last year I have been trying to begin writing a new edition of one of my books, The English Teacher's Companion, the book that would seem to be my legacy book, the book that one of my mentors said would be seen as my "gift to the profession."
I don't know about that. I just know that for the last year I feel like an astronaut must feel as everything in a room floats away from them as they reach for it. We are living through and working in the eye of a storm of change, the nature and name of which we lack the distance to know yet, but we all know it because we feel it. Everywhere. Every day.
Years ago I read Jill Ker Conway's wonderful memoir The Road to Coorain, in which she recounts her journey from her father's farm in Australia to her life as a scholar in the United States. When she would get lost, as an adult, she would remember her father telling her that whenever she felt lost, to stop, look up the sky and it would help her understand where she was.
When I am lost, when I wonder what works, what it's all for, where we are or should be going, I do not look up but around me--to the kids, for they are the stars by which I guide myself, the lights that help me know who I am, why I am here, and what I must do.
P.S. The girl in the photo is my daughter Nora, dancing in her recent performance of "Singing in the Rain."