Monday, October 29, 2007

Moshe's Veil

Two things the natural man cannot endure: the divine presence and the divine absence.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cupcake Tins of Infinite Space

I do not feel stifled in cupcake making because I use cupcake tins. I accept the form and within it have many choices and variable outcomes. Analogously, I don't feel bad giving students form-based instructions for their writings.

Form does not create poor writing; it's what we bring or don't bring to the form that does. Form is not formulaic.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Snug Gun, Light Hand

This morning my nine-year-old daughter was correcting math problems. The pencil seemed so light in her hand, the numbers so random. Why should this have amazed and distressed me--that her hand was not firm and heavy, that her line was loose?

Within the week a friend sent pictures with Santa from a Christmas party a few years ago at church. My three oldest, pictured at that point, have since become more defined in their features; they've lost the softness of the younger.

Why does maturing mean more definition, more line, more angles, both in words and in countenance? I think about the wisdom of serpents and the harmlessness of doves, wondering how to hold myself and my pen like both fangs and feathers.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Poet Has (No) Identity

After my daughter, whose name is not Hannah, put her own picture in a small desk-top frame that said "Hannah" on it, I considered it a metaphor for the cliché (it seems my obsession with the cliché has become, alas, cliched); how one takes a ready-made thought and frames oneself with it, thus misleading others as to one's personal identity and perceptions.

More recently, I saw my daughter's picture on my desk and read the metaphor differently. It could be that my daughter, whose name is not Hannah, is not prejudiced against something that is not "hers" if it works. She has not said anything about playing tricks on people with this arrangement. Ultimately, the frame complements her picture even though it is not her frame or name. She identifies with another and retains her identity.