Feels Like a Sunday

It’s Saturday, but it feels like a Sunday. Perhaps it’s because of the pseudo-blizzard that hit late Thursday night into Friday that paralyzed a large portion of people who live in the Middle of Nowhere, New York state. I live in the Middle of Nowhere, New York state, if you haven’t guessed yet. While my kids enjoyed a second consecutive snow day (I think maybe there was ice or something on Thursday that kept them out — I had to work) my wife and I got to join in the fun.

Which, of course, means today is our second consecutive day here. But we aren’t just playing board games and listening to Patti Smith. We are also doing a truckload of laundry, helping clean the kitchen, and Maddie could even be found using the Swiffer this morning on the shocking amount of dust that might have been in my private study. Shhh. It’s not the only dust in this place.

And, of course, right now it’s pretty outside, which is the tradeoff of living in the Middle of Nowhere, New York state, a winter wonderland that never fails to amaze me when I part the curtains. It doesn’t seem to matter what part of the year we’re in, by the way, there’s always a chance of finding that winter wonderland outside the glass. I might shovel later, but I’m going to try and stay inside as long as I can. I’ve never been an outdoors person, and wintertime is no exception.

I’ve been grading like a dervish this morning into this afternoon, taking advantage of most of my classes having work they submitted before all this snow came down. I may be crazy, though, because I emailed all of the students who for whatever reason didn’t submit the assignments, letting them know I’m here for them, whatever their reasons were for the oversight. I like to think it means something to them, that I took time out of my day, off from grading their classmates.

So yes, it feels like a Sunday, but not in all aspects. For one, with the Super Bowl over, I don’t have any NFL to watch, either today or tomorrow (don’t get me started about the XFL). I have been steadying myself with the loss by watching the story of the 2019 Eagles on Prime. It’s much more interesting than trying to figure out who won the Iowa caucuses, in my humble opinion.

The coffee is calling my name right now, but I only have one mug clean. Of course, one is always enough. Now, if I could just get rid of this insomnia. Maybe on Sunday.

All the World’s a Stage

I like stages. I always have, though I never wanted to be in a theater production, though I never wanted to be some other character waxing eloquently with another’s words venturing forth from my mouth. But I like stages. The lights, the spotlight particularly, being in front of several hundred people all looking at me, nodding along with me, smiling along with me, like I’m some puppeteer and they’re the marionettes. Just without the strings.

Today I was on a stage. The lights were a little too bright, so I couldn’t see the faces of those out in the audience. I had to guess instead if they were with me, if they were following along or merely looked to be that way. Sometimes I wonder if I look that way to others who are also under the bright lights, squinting out at me through a haze, hoping I’m with them.

I guess in a way I’m on some kind of stage every day. In fact, today I guess I could say I was on five stages — four of the classroom variety, and one that was an actual stage. Of course my teaching style means I’m more of a “guide on the side” than a “sage on the stage,” but I do hold court on occasion. I like initiating the contact, and they give me something back in return. It’s a wonderfully blissful experience, most of the time, when they care to participate, when it’s not 8 AM, when they have their coffee IV’s firmly affixed.

But being on the actual stage reminded me how much I love it. I used to be in those stage productions, by the way, back in elementary school. I used to be the main character, or the town villager, or tree #3, whatever let me see the stage from my favorite side. It didn’t really matter how I got to see it. Somehow, though, as I got older, either my passion died out, or I forgot how much it made me tingle being up there, on display, for everyone to see, and judge, and see again the next time I was up there. I got caught up in life, in doing for others, in achieving a different sort of dream, and I forgot what it was like.

To breathe.

To inhale and let it rush all over me, cleansing me from the outside in, giving me a new lease on life. Maybe I need to spend more time on a stage, to give in to those long ignored feelings, because on some level I feel like I need it. I’m no longer that rangy twelve-year old, no longer the kid with an entire future left to be written. I have only so many more Sundays, and I want to spend them where I’m feeling alive.

And I haven’t done much lately that feeds my soul, outside of my chosen occupation, that is, but it’s different to do what you love and get paid for it. Quite another to have that spare time and do it simply because I love it, getting nothing in return but the satisfaction of having done it, of being absolutely in love with it. The stage calls.

I wonder if I’ll answer.

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