Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

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Monday, April 2, 2012


Is publishing my latest scribbles to a blog and to face book--and calling them poems--shameless self-promotion?  It is, at least, courage, though I may live to blush another day. 

I was thinking about this while reading Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach's Blog  "Unselfish Self Promotion" on 21st Century Collaborative.  This is the brilliant site that accompanied my learning and application of Web 2.0 while a teacher during the last several years.  Now, I read it to help me think about the transformative power of learning communities.  Sharon justifies self-promotion because it is necessary for collaboration in positive change, in fact she shows that what we may shy away from as self-promotion is a necessary sharing of ideas.  This is the dialectic of discovery in any field.

When I put forth my writing, however, I do not think it will make the world a better place.  I know writing poems and sharing them will make my own world a better place for this while, that it may lead me to recognize my next ministry.  And it may not. 

I have pushed publishing on my students in the past so that they would experience the possibility of influencing others and being influenced; so that they would experience the equality of their own choices and articulation among myriad others; so that they would consider the possibility of the public and caring exchange that can be the best feature of democracy.  Am I to be less demanding of myself? 

My students trusted me to keep them from embarrassing themselves, and that is the partnership I am missing at present.  I fear the labels that cause readers/listeners to turn away.  I feared turning away myself as a teacher--feared having a delusion that a student might already be set in stone and not worth following through the changes that experience can bring.  Looking back at my teaching, I think this is the best of it: that I encouraged writing before knowing the truth, before the possibility of contradiction was past.  Imagine walking forward in the dark without fear, without reason to fear. Not so easy.

Can I be a teacher to myself?  I have moved past the outbursts of obscenity and anger of youth, the iconoclastic rhetoric of extreme positions.  I think subtlety, satire, and skepticism may be left--but nihilism is gone.  That leaves hope.  Shamelessly publishing is the next necessary step, before I definitively decide that this mind here (that is the mind of a learner) should be silence, before I know beyond a doubt that I have something to offer.

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