Don’t Tell The High School Guidance Counselor I Said This

books little switzerland 2

I bought a calendar.

I thought that there might be some sort of freedom in being without one. Or was I trying to stretch my capacity for memorizing facts and dates.

I struggle with a faint fear of losing my memory one day. The one who bore me has dementia and it could be in me waiting to pounce.

Sometimes I write and I pause at a word and the word comes slower. So I write more and more. It’s as if a muscle is being worked in the gym of my mind.

I want my children to have my words when they don’t have my words any longer.

When I first started blogging I was determined to use the word I in my posts infrequently, verging on the never.

Today I am breaking my rule of no I’s in my posts. It is a selfish pronoun but it is necessary. I could shift to the third person but that would be silly because at this point you know it is me to whom I am referring.

Putting things on my calendar yesterday felt like a good and needed discipline. There is a tension in the space between spontaneous living and purposeful, intentional living out of days.

I see things less poetically if I am strapped down and bound by restraints of time and space. You know there is a quote about that, the poet is working when she is staring out the window. I need to look up who said it because it is true and brilliant. And it helps me understand where poetry is born.

If you have been reading here for awhile you know the focus on poetry. If you haven’t you can read the title of the blog and then you would know. I think poetry is saving me and giving me new eyes. Both.

Therefore, poetry is important.

There is a way of seeing the poetic in life which comes from breathing deep and walking slow. Of staring long into the places and moments of a day.

If I look out the window long enough I see the beautiful, not the dirt. And I long to write of the beautiful rather than reach for the Windex.

Yesterday I met with my daughter’s guidance counselor to go over her graduation plan. She was doing her job and she does it well.  We were making her schedule for next year and picking courses. This planning of my youngest’s senior year is heart wrenching work.

I starred at her blue eyes and drowned a little in the talk of college.

We talked of AP Spanish Four and of AP English too. Of her plans to be a Pediatric Dentist, of GPA’s and SAT’s and Class Rank. And I felt really hemmed in that office. And thought a bit about how things change.

And we are making plans so far ahead and so much can change. And I know that we need this dance of the deliberate and the planning out of a life.

But where is the dance of the poetic. And what if the dreams change or crash. What if her heart changes her mind.

We would walk in and write out a course change slip and off we would go to a new dream and a new class. Plans and changes of plans. The now and the surprise of tomorrow. The dance of uncertainty and the plans for a life well lived.

There is so much beauty in the savoring of now. And intentional living keeps wandering minds from going too far off track. And we need a plan and a dream and a schedule.

I dance between these two worlds daily.

I am off to work on my calendar and write down some important dates and plans and appointments and a writing schedule of sorts.

And I hope that I don’t lose my poetry along the way. I hope my dancing shoes don’t fall off. It has taken me a lifetime to learn to dance in a place of the poetic. And I don’t want to stop now.

The high school guidance counselor does important work. I am grateful for her and her ability to keep folks like me on track.

I wonder if she saw my mind wander a bit. But don’t tell her I said that. Sometimes the mention of SAT and Class Rank cause me to glaze over a bit.

I am writing now like there is no tomorrow and I am finding great relief in doing so. I knew I was really drawn to the words of my favorite poet Billy Collins.

I wonder how he feels about the use of the word “I”. I have used my quota for the month here.  I wonder if my mind is fading and how long I have with it.

I will be writing a lot in the months to come. And there I go making plans. Maybe I was listening to the guidance counselor after all.

If you subscribe you may want to stop following as it may get a little too verbose in these parts while I exercise my mind in the gymnasium of my heart by lifting the weight of the words.


joining Eileen and Heather295b3123-4a67-4966-8a77-222919b9921c_thumb_BR_44




9 thoughts on “Don’t Tell The High School Guidance Counselor I Said This

  1. Wow, I’m so glad we’re neighbors at SDG today, because that helped me to “find” you here. Your words are beautiful— i’ve got too many favorite lines to even name one. I want to see the beautiful, too. Thanks for NOT reaching for the Windex- I can’t wait to come back and see how you are dancing between the poetic and the planned. Blessings to you!

    1. I am glad you are my neighbor too. Wonderful place, Jen’s. Can’t wait until all the vlogs are up and we can see the living and breathing women in the community. Thanks for your encouragement, friend. I am so glad you get the Windex line. 🙂 Makes me happy.

  2. Well, I for one use I all the time. I probably need to get away from that. 🙂 I completely understand that dance we do between schedules and dreams! Thanks for linking up today.

    1. So glad you get this. It is making me smile to know that I am not alone. The dance…ah the dance. Thanks for opening up your place for us on Tuesdays. Grateful for your generosity of space.

  3. beautiful post, your words are dancing from the screen as a message comes through. Man makes plans, but the Lord directs his steps. What we begin to walk towards, sometimes the Lord show you a different path where it is clear and free and you run down the new way. Giving our children a foundation is vital, but once that foundation is set and firm, there is a confidence and security to venture and trust in the Lord. Thanks for this. I love your descriptions and have so enjoyed this post. DAF

  4. hearing this loud and clear: “There is a tension in the space between spontaneous living and purposeful, intentional living out of days.” i have been in both ditches, but very rarely in the middle of that tension’s narrow road.
    like you, i tend to resent and glaze over the planned, controlled, drab details of the world where man is in control (smothering a chuckle). i tend to bend toward the wonder, the art, the passion of living in the moment.
    but then i get to the dinner hour and there’s no meal on the table. and that sucks.

    hence the tension.
    yeah, i really get this one. and may we never sacrifice the worship of wonder for control’s illusion.
    may God give you wisdom with your daughter. and give her dreams that lead her feet.

  5. Write on, friend. Let the words flow and go ahead and use that pronoun! And take lots of notes because I may need to pick your brain about SATs and other acronyms 🙂

  6. Elizabeth, I LOVED this! I am like you and Kelli, too, trying to find this road where I can feel freedom in both stopping to smell the flowers and getting what needs to be done, done. It’s a toughie. I love your tone here, friend, and the way you give credit to, as DAF said, establishing that strong foundation while allowing space for all that unfolds according to His ways. This was SOOO good for me to read today. I think your writing just gets better and better. 🙂

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