Monday, March 17, 2008

Children, the bunny

Do parts of ourselves stay intact even as we grow older, fall in and out of love with ourselves and the world, and experience the joys, pains, and disillusionment of life? I’d like to think so. One friend recently commented that life as I knew it would not be the same if I were to leave Inuvik. I know she’s right: With each move, each transition, a layer of me is sloughed off and left behind, try as I might to stay whole. But, parts of Inuvik have sloughed off and have become etched into my soul too. So, even as I grieve my loss, I know that the person I’m building will be layered upon the essence that Inuvik has left behind in me.

I’m not giving up on teaching by moving away and contemplating a change in career. I absolutely love the work that I’ve done these past five years, and know that try as I might to resist it, teaching is in my blood. The story that I tell others is that I had panicked in my last year of undergrad, and had hastily applied to the Education program, not knowing what else I could possibly do. But, thinking back, sparks of the “teacherly me” appeared early in life. The oldest stuffed animal I’m in possession of is a purple rabbit. My mother bought her for me when I was four. I named her “Children,” and would parade around the house with her, chanting in an oh-so-grown-up tone, “Come along, Children. We’re going to the library. You can pick a book, and I’ll read to you, Children….” The purple bunny “grew up,” and became a teacher in my stuffed animal schoolhouse. The rest of the stuffed gang would sit in their classes with their notebooks as Children lectured on various subjects of interest. Their favourite class was choir: I would record my voice onto cassette, and would play it back as I attempted to sing in hideous harmony, arranging the animals into soprano and alto sections of the choir. And Children would conduct, grinning her big grin at the adoring students.

Later on, the animals would put on plays, sometimes radio-plays that were faithfully recorded onto audio-cassettes. They would practise and practise, making sure that they had the nuances just right, and that their lines didn’t change from one performance to the next. They also put together a magazine, gaudily titled “Romance,” and would contribute articles and take turns being on the cover.

All the things that Children showed me are still inside of me. The music-loving, word-loving bunny taught me how to be me. As I move onto the next adventure in my life, I’m taking Children with me. I’m taking Inuvik with me. I’m taking the teacher in me too. And I’m still waiting to meet the rest of the gang I’ll pick up along the way.

1 comment:

  1. I am certain you will blossom where-ever you next land. There is something refreshingly alive about striking out on a new path. May your journey be a joyful one!