Sunday, October 2, 2016

Yesterday's class was a good one: 10 people in a room for 3 hours, reading and talking and writing. As usual, I made them read stuff they wouldn't ordinarily read, like Plutarch and Cotton Mather and angry, thundering James Baldwin. I guess, as a teacher, this is one of my predictable behaviors: that I want my students to engage with literature as a conversation over time, not just as a conversation with their peers.

Living inside the sorrow of Plutarch as he writes to his wife about the death of their daughter . . . that sort of connection never stops feeling like a miracle to me. I never know how others will react, but I constantly feel the need to try.

Today will be a quiet one: a slow start, a slow rain. I might go to the orchard for apples. I might make a pie while I listen to baseball. I might look at that poetry manuscript. I might idly stare out the window into my browning garden. Next Friday will be my 52nd birthday. I'm beginning to feel the roll of the calendar.

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