Clarity on the Mission of this Seedling

29 Mar

Oh learning,

may it never end;

how could it?

There is a sudden clarity this morning,

that I was made to confuse the most literal

beauties that god created.

It is very very good

to give creative writing assignments

with vague directions

to STEM students.

My clarifying emails

only confuse them further

because with good reason

they try to check the temperature

of the water

before jumping in the deep end,

unlike me, who flings myself

into confusing mystery

before the instructions are done.

We have so much to offer each other!

Love me in my frustration

when I have to start over

after leaping too soon.

Also love us

who shiver at the threshold

ofย just give it a go,ย rolling our eyes.

Together we fill the color wheel

meeting where somehow

purple bleeds into red.

9 Responses to “Clarity on the Mission of this Seedling”

  1. Just Joan March 29, 2020 at 4:31 pm #

    Marga, I was STEM for most of my life, a nurse taught to write patient notes like a police report–no embellishment, just the facts, ma’am. My first poetry class (as an adult) was a revelation. The professor’s instructions were tight enough to give the assignment structure, but loose enough to foster creativity. A dozen students produced 12 wonderfully different takes on the same criteria, every week. You capture this well in your poem. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • marga t. March 30, 2020 at 3:40 pm #

      JJ: So great to hear words from your perspective! What courage to walk new paths from what has been familiar. With shifting online, I think my usually in person confidence building was less apparent. Those dozen different outcomes you mention are so thrilling to me, every time! Bowing your direction. ๐Ÿ™‚ m

      • Just Joan March 30, 2020 at 5:59 pm #

        The college was small and offerings were limited. I wanted to take the memoir writing class. Poetry was all that was available and high school English classes had turned me off to poetry. My advisor said “writing is writing, just dip a toe in.” The class was at capacity, but the teacher agreed to allow me to audit. In-class exercises were a disaster and conjuring up enough creative thoughts to complete my assignments was next to impossible. Until it wasn’t. It was like jiggling a stuck faucet handle and it suddenly breaks free and pent-up feelings and ideas are gushing and splashing everywhere. My teacher was awesome. She said reading and commenting on our work was her favorite “chore” of the day. She’d pour herself a cup of coffee, crawl into bed under her quilt with her cat beside her, and “let herself be transported by our brilliance.” Really! Her comments were always thoughtful, usually praise coupled with a gentle challenge. You seem a lot like her, Marga.

  2. Andrea March 29, 2020 at 4:41 pm #

    I love this! I find much inspiration in your words, as this weird corona circumstance and cancellation of school invites me to begin homeschooling (again) my small variety of students. (Those under my own roof, specifically.) lol We each have our own lens through which to see the world. I think yours and mine may be rose colored…as purple bleeds to red…

    • marga t. March 30, 2020 at 3:50 pm #

      Feels like we are all improvising in the best ways through the weirdness. Your brood among the luckiest! If you want me to do some writing with them, for fun, let me know (though I know you can do that with them in spades too!:) xx

  3. Michael March 29, 2020 at 8:36 pm #

    This cracked me up, M. As a STEM graduate, and engineer during normal working hours, I appreciate this challenge. There are so many viewpoints in this world! Even with engineers there is a wide range of ‘instructions’ that must be given to yield a desired result. It’s uncanny how different minds work. I’ve been working from home the past week and a half, writing specifications for a construction project, which is so, so tedious. Your STEM students don’t know the half of it. May they savor the open-endedness of heart-sharing! May they discover the potency of thoughts without units of measure!


    • marga t. March 30, 2020 at 3:57 pm #

      Laughing with you. You have so much more balance going on between these imaginary divisions than most that your perspective is rich! Sending you patience for the tedious; although you are able to plough through, that level of detail can be difficult to make oneself do especially in the free space of “at home”! The emails I was receiving in regards to an easy, open-ended assignment were so precious; may they learn to play outside of units of measure, indeed! x! m

  4. Miguel Clark Mallet May 25, 2020 at 1:06 pm #

    How disconcerting and rich it has been to live both of those roles.

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