Sun in September

16 Sep 2014

9/16/14

Sun in September

No more bouncing, blazing:
A flaming acrobat.
Darkness lingers later.
The sun creeps up slowly
Like a shy, scared, schoolgirl.
Autumn has arrived.

BAMorris

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Fall

16 Sep 2014

9/16/14

Fall

Fall has crept in silently on ant’s legs while we were glorying in the warmth and sun of summer. One day we realize the sun rose a little later, the early morning air felt air conditioned to the skin, and the sun’s light was dimmer. In a breath Fall slyly snickered and said, “Gotcha!”

BAMorris

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Fog

16 Sep 2014

9/16/14

Fog

The fog rises from the ground like sweat from the pores of the earth’s body. Only it’s cold, and it wraps itself around my feet and legs like a chilled cloak until I shiver.

BAMorris

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September 11, 2012

16 Sep 2014

9/11/14

September 11, 2012

For my last year of teaching, I worked with fifth graders. When September 11th rolled around, my students asked me what was so special about that day. I was shocked. How could they not know about that infamous day in American history? It was then that I realized that most of them were not even born on 9/11/01. How could they know the impact that day had on the rest of us? They couldn’t, and didn’t.
So I showed them videos of what the country saw that day: the planes flying into the Twin Towers; the jagged breach of the Pentagon where another plane had flown into it; the hole in the Pennsylvania countryside from the fourth plane’s crash. They were shocked by the New York scenes: people jumping out of windows; the ash covering everything; the twisted wreckage of those two buildings in the end. We talked of the purpose of the Pentagon, and how the plane crashing into it was an attack on our military. I told them of the bravery of the people on Flight 93 as they tried to overpower the hijackers over Pennsylvania. How they knowingly gave their lives to prevent another attack on the White House or Congress or something that represented the United States, and would kill hundreds of people.
I told them my own experience of teaching that day and having a fellow teacher show me the news feed on her computer of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. Then the shock of see in real time the second plane crashing into the second tower. We never let our students know what we’d seen. Classroom by classroom, our principal came to the door and told each teacher what he knew had happened, and asked us to continue teaching and not alarm our students. My school was not far from Washington and many students there had mothers, fathers, and/or family members who were in the military, some of them at the Pentagon. We wanted to protect them as long as we could. When parents began to arrive to collect their children, we pretended ignorance of why. It was only after lunch that an announcement was made about the attacks.
My fifth graders had some of the same responses as my eight graders had on 9/11/01. “Will we be attacked again?” “Am I safe here?” “Why do they hate us?” I couldn’t give them the same experience I had on that awful day, but at least I could get them involved in the discussion of what 9/11 meant to our country. And what it meant to them.

BAMorris

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The Absurdity of Life

16 Sep 2014

9/10/14

The Absurdity of Life

My in-laws live on a twisty, narrow road. Their house sits at the top of a hill with a tight curve across from their driveway. Their mailbox sits right in the elbow of that curve. They have asked the post office if they can move the mailbox farther up the bank, and the answer has always been no. Moving it up the bank would make it too difficult for the mail carrier to reach the box, they have been told.
On Monday they went to buy their fourth mailbox to replace the latest one that had been sheared off on Sunday by some passing vehicle that got too close, going too fast. The old mailbox had been placed outside the garage for easy access to the policemen who came to write the latest report about destruction of their mailbox. The post office was notified to hold all mail, until further notice, and until such time as someone could remove the old partial post from the ground and replace it with a new post and mailbox.
Logic tells you: no mailbox on Monday, no mail. On Tuesday, on a whim, George, my father-in-law, opened the damaged mailbox lying by the garage. Low and behold, there was mail inside. We all had a laugh at that! They are not allowed to move the mailbox up the bank a bit to distance it from traffic, but the mailman can drive up the driveway and get out of the car to put the mail in the mailbox lying beside the garage! Not rain nor sleet nor snow, shall keep the mailman from his appointed rounds. And not out of place, damaged mailboxes either!

BAMorris

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Boundaries

16 Sep 2014

9/10/14

Boundaries

Once you blur the edges of what’s acceptable in your life,
it’s nearly impossible to get them back.

It isn’t easy to hold firm to what I believe is right. Too many outside forces arguing for moderation; for liberalism; asking me to walk a mile (figuratively) in someone else’s shoes. As a child of the 60’s and 70’s, I was all for bending the rules of my parent’s generation: breaking them completely in some cases. But a world without rules is a world of chaos.
So I am reaffirming the rules of my personal world. Resetting my boundaries, if you will.

1) Using alcohol or drugs to alter one’s experience of life is wrong. I’m not against alcohol or drugs per se, but life is such a wonderous adventure if you fully participate in it, why would you want to remove yourself from its glory?
2) Life is sacred. God gave it. Nothing gives me, or anyone else, the right to play God with someone else’s life. I am not God. Never will be.
3) I have been blessed again and again in my life. As I am blessed, it is my responsibility to pay that forward. I will do so in contributions to organizations that are making a difference in people’s lives; in kindnesses to others; in positive thinking and acting; in living my life as an example other can see.

BAMorris

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9/6/14

Speaker for the Living

I would like to be
A Speaker for the Dead.
Teller of truth.
Teller of whys, and hows.
Painting a picture
Of the events, their paths,
Their consequences.
Show the setting of the dominos,
The slight tilt that determines
The fall pattern.
Lead people to understand.

There is no good or bad
In the telling.
Only the truth. And they say
The truth shall set you free.
But finding the truth
Is no easy thing.
What was truth for the moment
Looks different a second later.
I must climb back
Beyond that second and
Feel the truth of there.

I would like to be
A Speaker for the Living.
Teller of grief,
Of loss and sorrow.
Draw readers in
To another’s story.
Walk in empty shoes.
Find words to express
The joy, fear, hope, love
Of another’s soul.
Virtual reality in print.

Take my hand and follow.
Into the shadows of
Another life, until you
Are them and they you.
Open the shuttered windows,
The bolted doors.
Reveal what was,
What is, to the light.
Hold a candle to the corners
And the specters disappear.

I want to be the Voice
Of the voiceless.
Healer of families.
Binder of wounds.
Chiropractor of the crooked.
Bearer of the torch of truth.
Discoverer of the lights
Long hidden under bushes.
Speakers of logic, of reason.
Teller of the tales
Quester for Everyman’s story.

BAMorris reference “The Speaker of the Dead”
By Orson Scott Card

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Teacher/Writer

16 Sep 2014

9/4/14

Teacher/Writer

I am a little adrift
Without my mantle of
Teacher.
A little lost in the world.
I’m trying to weave
A new coat.
But Writer is so fine
A weave that
It’s hard to stitch.
I can’t grasp it to
Form it into a shape.
It flows like water
Through my fingers.
Feels like silk slipping
Over skin when I’m on.
Feels like stagnant air
When I’m empty.
Took off my robe of
Educator: hung it up.
Doesn’t fit any more.
But I miss being cloaked
In an identity.
Sort of a no-man’s-land now.

BAMorris

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From “Spirituality and Health” (July/August)

Travel adjusts the soul. Taking each experience and imprinting it on our psyche. Although life is upon us and the physical act of the travel passes, people are changed permanently by the experience.

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