Saturday, December 5, 2010

Morning: Saturday, December 5, 2010
© by Lydia Nolan

This morning wreaks of perfection! The sky is overcast, but the clouds are indecisive: they seem to be arguing over whether to stay or go, whether to unveil the sun.

Because of the brightness of the clouds the flanks of mountains around me are majestically poised as silouettes. The trees pierce the skies like flowing paint brushes swaying rythmically on the canvas skies by the hands of winds that are course and cool.

These winds brush my face as well, refreshing me after a calm, dream-filled night. Yes, I dreamt heartily last night.

My dream transcended back into time. I was in the midst of high school students, a student myself, rather than the teacher I am now. I was in the midst of these young people; part of them, observing the nature of my surroundings and I noticed especially those students that had the hardest time adjusting to the changes from one venue to another; one class to break, to another class, and so on.

I became the focal point of one young fellow who I defined as a person who tried exhaustively to feel comfortable aligning himself to the changes. We students were shuffling from one place to another, situating ourselves as comfortably as possible to adhere to the instructions from some voice that was apparently giving us instructions of some sort, the face of whom I never saw. But it didn't matter: no one was listening anyway. Each time we settled into our places the young boy made preparation for comforts, and began his animations and chatting all for me.

The instructor was more like a counselor who was explaining rules and regulations to us: I never heard specifically the rules and regulations, I simply knew that was what the 'counselor' was doing. I think this instructive kind of voice was preparing us for the next step to which we were to proceed. So perhaps we were seniors, just about to graduate.

In my real life, I graduated very young. I was sixteen, but I was experiencially about twelve or thirteen. In the real world I always felt like a square peg in a round-pieced puzzle--I never fit anywhere. I sensed this in my dream as well, but for some reason this young man was drawn to me in every place we traveled, and retired for a period of time just to talk to me--he seemed to be trying to put me at ease.

In the real world, most of the students were at least eighteen, some were even older. Some hadn't made it out of the school daycare venue, and probably failed for the reason of not wanting to leave yet: it was safer within these walls. In the dream I had the sense that we were being prepared to 'go out into the world.'

In the real world I didn't have a clue as to what was going on, or what I was going to be doing after graduation. In my dream I realized that the other students were feeling this way as well, but I knew what was out there, and deeper inside myself I wondered why I was experiencing this venue all over again.

The students were all making noise, laughing, talking, explaining their previous night's happenings, but the young man entered a silent space with me, and appeared to want to get my attention while he tried to explain to me what everyone needed to know. I let him. I was quiet, I never spoke in my dream. I never even saved him a spot next to me, but everytime I sat down, there was a chair near me, and he found it. Such a young boy, he was. In contrast, I felt like I do now; I think I looked the same way as I do now. But no one else seemed to recognize that.

The young boy was not tall, of average weight, dark, slicked hair and dark eyes with long curled lashes, and he had an attractive male look and posture. There was a small dark mole just below one of his eyes, on his cheek--and he was very tanned; one might say he was darker than average tanning. I remember that. In fact, after I awoke, he reminded me of a boy I had a crush on, in grade school--fourth grade, to be exact.

In grade school, the boy I was infatuated with had no interest in me at all. He was popular, and he was cute and shy, always dressed impeccably, like his parents took a great deal of time preparing him for school, and his hair was neatly parted on one side, and was slicked perfectly to his head. He had a resemblance to the actor George Hamilton, and all the girls liked him. He never spoke to me much, but I caught him gazing at me once in a while, and that made me secretly admire him.

In my dream this boy was very attentive, however, and he couldn't seem to stop talking to me directly. He seemed to have made it his mission to put me at ease, and help me through the experiences through which we were all going, on our way from high school, and into the world.

The dream was sort of a clarifying experience for me, of the past.

Now that I had been a teacher, and in the milieu of students for such a long time, I realize how difficult it is to be young. I could understand how the students might have been exhausted during their chaotic time in school, and become depressed after school at home, because the earlier cacophany caused the later exhaustion, as if one had to be at the height of being "on," while in the school setting. Then, the same student had to become someone else; to try and come down at home, to face a different set of circumstances--some comfortable; some not so comfortable; some unbearable.

But the home part is kept quietly inside of each student because when they get back to the myriad of diverse students, they have a certain persona they have to put back on; they have to be someone else, and this is an exhausting time in life, especially since young people don't have the same apparatii as those who have lived life much longer and have experienced much more, to be able to gauge which tools are best to be used in which circumstances. So being in the dream as I was last night, made sense. I was going back into high school, as I felt then, and observing the experience, while understanding it much better today.

Perhaps this is why I chose to be a high school teacher instead of a grade school teacher. Sure. I was told that the best place to reach a child was in their very young years. What I had discovered though--and the dream only served to confirm this in my subconscious mind--was this: older children in their teens, just before gearing toward outside the school venue, need a lot of understanding and help, too. Because their bodies are bigger, they don't get the same attention as when they were little tikes, but they need even more attentions because the rules and regulations are beginning to get foggy, and they aren't sure which tools to use for what.

This is our last chance to really listen to THEM--the OLDER kids--the teen-agers, who are in the transcition from child to adult. This is our greatest chance to Hear them, and help them and help alleviate their anxieties, their desperations, and their disillusionments with many personal experiences they have had in the walls of the microcosmic world we call 'school.'

We are supposed to be human helpers, teaching them what it is to be really human...helping them to see the world in this little universe, and teaching them that it is alright to have difficulty and bewilderment while traveling through each grade, even alright to fail, as long as they are learning from each experience, and gaining new tools to do better next time. And especially, that it will be alright out in the big world, but to expect more of the same, only more complicated, and sometimes, more painful...and to learn to deal with the issues with the insight we as 'instructors' gave them to use as tools.

I think that boy was really my own spirit trying to comfort me, but in a boy's body, so I would 'gaze' at him--as I did the boy in fourth grade--to separate myself from him, and observe his lesson to me.  It was HE that was the instructor, because his words were plain, but his gestures, and his animation told me that he cared about my feeling capable and able to meet the circumstances.

This is all very Freudian, and psychological, but I am gaining more clarity as I write about it, and as I go through the day.

I so love young people, and empathize greatly with them. I want so much to help them get through life, and I don't want them to give up or to choose suicide as their only option. There is so much to learn from yet, which in itself brings these kinds of glorious mornings, as I am experiencing right now.

This morning--this morning is truly glorious and I am truly happy just being able to say that I've made it beyond high school so many years, to look back and understand the journey so far. To have children of my own, to watch them come into adulthood, through the many struggles, and experiences, and all they managed to transcend in their wild toad ride into adulthood. And adulthood doesn't get easier. We just learn to recognize the potholes better. It makes me want to see more, and find out how I will understand this present time, this part of my life, when I am well into my late years.

This is life, and it is wonderful! May the journey be everlasting, for being alive is a glorious gift of learning much more than anyone can ever imagine.


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