Saturday, March 18, 2006


I’ve decided to whittle my world down into manageable portions. Right now, my world is this rumpled bed, this computer, Green Day blaring from the speakers, the sun outside my window. I’ve felt purposeless and directionless; however, I now realize that I don’t need to save the world or to make a difference. I just want something simple, something tangible.

At work, I just need to concentrate on my students’ immediate concerns. Thinking too far ahead just disheartens me. I’ve stopped asking myself at every moment whether my students are learning something useful. Yesterday, the afternoon was devoted to painting: We dug out our three big jugs of yellow, blue, and red, and the students splattered paint all over – on their desks, on their clothes, and even on their faces. One remarked that she had not had this much fun in a long time. Perhaps that’s the more useful lesson after all, that something as simple as finger-painting could erase all the usual frustrations and anxieties for a while.

Focusing on the immediate is one way of narrowing the world into something more manageable, but the more fulfilling way is finding something to be passionate about. All through high school, I had told everyone that I was going to be a writer. Now, eight years after graduating from high school, I have only countless personal journals to show for it. Where does one begin? How do I turn something therapeutic, something habitual, into a passion and a life? There are people whose very being compels them to follow a certain path, a “calling,” so-to-speak.

Not having such a calling worries me sometimes, but maybe I’m looking at this all wrong. Maybe my world is still large with potential. Yes, I’m wandering, but a wanderer can take in that panoramic scope that this wide world provides, and whittle it down to snapshots worth cherishing.

On a more humdrum note, I’ll be heading to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients and will be trying out several new recipes – I know, I can see all your shocked faces already. My “snapshot” of this weekend will hopefully consist of an African peanut soup, Spanish potatoes, and a main dish that is deceptively simple yet elegant, and which is yet to be decided.

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