Sunday, January 11, 2009


I’m looking for some hook, some way to introduce the first assignment in my Print class. I just want them to remember how to think visually. To reenter the semester feeling open and inspired. So I scan the shelves in my work space upstairs and don’t see what I’m looking for, even through I don’t know what I’m looking for. I scan the bookshelves downstairs in the livingroom. James Hillman’s “The Soul’s Code” catches my attention. Then Natalie Goldberg’s “Long Quiet Highway”. She writes so vividly about waking up: about writing and Zen practice (“Writing Down the Bones”, if you”re not familiar with her). I was prodded and reminded that there is something underneath why I teach. Something beyond making graphic design or teaching young people how to do graphic design. But I don’t know what that is. Or, I can’t say. Or, I’m afraid that I won’t be believed if I write it. Or, that I shouldn’t be so open, so exposed. Or all of the above. To wake up and engage with something so deeply that it changes you.

A run this morning around the swamp in Forest Hill Park. Cool damp air, blue sky, hear nobody else but robins and a kingfisher.

A visit this weekend from a niece in whom I see myself, my sister, my son and herself all in one.

Waking up from so much that clouds the mind. I want that for myself and to draw that out in my students. It’s not that complicated.

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