Cool Lesson for Today

I teach a course on short stories. It’s probably one of my favorite things to teach because I love short stories myself. Recently in class, we’ve been looking at popular fiction and the various genres. This week we’re focusing on Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Yesterday, while working on my plan for the week I had wanted a short sci-fi film that I could show in one class period that would be interesting enough to keep my students’ attention and that would have the obvious elements of sci-fi. At the time I was working on my plan I couldn’t come up with one, but while eating dinner with my husband an idea hit me, and I thought to myself – I know, an episode of Star Trek!  – which like much of what goes through my mind, I apparently verbalized this thought, much to the confusion of my husband who then said, “what about an episode of Star Trek?” 

I proceeded to explain my prior quandary, and he then reminded me of another wonderful something…The Twilight Zone! Oh, yes, that would be even better!

In seeking out the perfect episode to show today, I landed quite fortuitously upon “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.”

This was beyond perfect! Not just for the purposes of my lesson, but also perfect amidst our recent political climate change. It was the perfect message for my students to hear, and perhaps myself as well.

Quite in awe of how beautifully this all came together, I couldn’t wait to write this post because I wanted to share just a small reminder to all about the dangers of mass hysteria/the mob effect and how we often let our fears control us to the point of chewing off our own tails. Fear of the unknown and different is not an excuse for bigotry.

Enjoy, My Friends, Enjoy!

 

Falling

Falling is something we fear
falling down
falling out
so maybe that’s why we fear
falling in love?

and what does it mean
to “fall in love.”
anyway?

is it that we’ve
come to realize
we might just need
someone
other than ourselves?

when we can no longer
imagine existence
without the other?

is it when we know
that we would sacrifice
our happiness for that
of another?

This falling in love thing
does sound a bit
like falling really

there’s a cry of
desperation, a clinging
to the past, and finally
a surrender to what must be

No wonder we fear falling,
it isn’t the fall that
scares us,
it’s hitting the ground.

In Over My Head

So between the bouts of depression, anxiety, and plateaus there are these wild and spontaneous fits of creativity, productivity, and energy with desires to take on the world. I fall in love with these peaks of happiness; the view is incredible up here! You should see it!

All around me, I can see the beauty of the world, and it inspires me and makes me feel alive.

There’s just one problem.

After reaching the summit, I still have to come down the other side of those mountains. And the higher I climb on the good days, the further I have to fall back on the not-so-good days.

At the peak, the world feels entirely conquerable. In fact, if you catch me on one of these days, it’s nearly impossible for me to say, “no.” Can you…shave this greased pig for me? Sure, why not? I’d love to! Can you…wrestle this Tasmanian Devil into this princess costume and teach it to sing? Hell yeah, let’s do this thing! Can you…travel back in time and bring me back a T-Rex named Norm who is into making decoupage picture boxes and wants to marry Selena Gomez? Give me just one second!

You get the picture. I am the queen of “yes.” I want to do ALL the things, and somehow I convince myself I can handle doing ALL the things. But as soon as I begin my descent back to reality, it becomes apparent just how far I’ve climbed. Staring down from these dizzying heights, I immediately feel in over my head.

One of my biggest phobias is a fear of heights. Vertigo sets in, and I’m left clinging desperately to whatever solid ground is within reach. My death grip is such that I am too terrified to move; I become paralyzed with fear and doubt.

 

What I Know of Leaves

As a child, I loved autumn – the fallen leaves, raked in piles on my lawn with their musty scent always thrilled me. I remember my Dad and I raking the leaves from around the entire yard to create the largest mound possible before plunging into the mountainous pile.

I still find great pleasure in the autumn leaves, but I haven’t jumped into a pile of them in quite some time. Perhaps I need to do that again. But these days I find myself admiring the colors and shapes of leaves. I enjoy the crunch of dried leaves beneath my feet as I cross the lawn and I still love their earthy scent. I enjoy watching the squirrels scamper through them as they seek to hide their treasures.

I think the leaves are my favorite part of the season. They seem to pair nicely with jeans, hooded sweatshirts, and hiking boots.

Upon the wind, they gather and play
dancing and swirling as though
they were a sign of youth and vigor
instead of the dying of another season.

Laying one upon the other
Shifting and stirring,
rustling with
each footfall and breath of the Earth.

Hues changing, ripening
with intense beauty and fading
into the background with age.

Tiny Explosions

Yesterday was a dark day for me as I know it was for many who share my core values and beliefs. I am grieving over what feels like a direct violation of my soul and of any safety I’ve ever felt. I wrote the only thing I could eek out, which I’ve included below.

Today I woke up somewhat calmer, if delusional. I guess it’s proof (at least in my mind) that anti-depressants do work because surely I could not be calm and relatively even keel of my own accord. I’m drug induced optimistic. That’ll have to do for now.

I’m torn between not wanting to draw lines in the sand and divide a country further and wanting very much to say, fuck it, and denounce my citizenship. I do not want to be a part of a nation of individuals who believe that a misogynist, bigoted, sexual predator belongs in the highest office of our nation.

I’ve always been one to believe the best in people – in humanity. We are flawed, every last one of us. I’m trying my hardest to choose love; to be a person that continues to see the good in others – to love those who I feel, in my bitterness, have betrayed me.

TINY EXPLOSIONS

I woke up to tiny explosions
and crumbling fortresses in my mind
I woke up to a world I couldn’t  comprehend.
No amount of staring off
into space
can resolve the growing dissonance in my mind;
explosions I can’t control,
explosions of overwhelming fear
and sadness, usher in
a complete lack of faith in humanity.
My country has failed me. My people
have failed me.