Weightless - Brian Eno
1. "We just want to stay with you!!! You are leaving....we want to be with you!!!" - on asking the students how they want their schedule to be during the last week of half days. Monday - Thursday are going to be divine.
2. Giving plants away to a student who has taken care of them all year. I bought him an epiphyte at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden over the winter and he has taken such pride in its care. I gave him all the classroom plants. Yesterday, he took the first load home in a white cardboard box. Inside it, carefully placed, were a jade plant and saucer, four African violets, his epiphyte and a purple watering can. Today he took home a night-blooming cereus in a hanging basket.
3. Finishing things, no matter how hard that is for me.
4. Dressing up like a Fireman from Fahrenheit 451 to celebrate the life of Ray Bradbury, the importance of books, and the value of being a smidge anarchistic.
5. Cooking dinner for oneself on a rainy night, in a friend's kitchen, whilst drinking a glass of wine and listening to good music. Those moments are what it is all about.
Nightlite - Bonobo
Today, I drove back to my friend's house, the old Germantown house where I have been staying for about two weeks, at around 4:30. I drove up 5th street, out of the ghetto, or the Ojo de Oro as sometimes it is called, into northwest Philly, and back into beautiful Germantown. Over the last two weeks, I have often thought that had I lived in Germantown, would my experience of Philadelphia been fundamentally different? Most definitely yes, but I still think I would be moving on.
I leave Philly in a week! A week from now, I will be grilling with friends here at this house, drinking beer and eating food with the good people in my life, and finishing packing my car. My car has become a three-dimensional Tetris game of my accoutrement: the junk I saved after the massive sell off.
You've Got the Love - Florence and the Machine
So that's it. It is amazing how much can change in a year: how the course of your life can change, how you can have one plan and then another and then the better one just shows up in front of your eyes and you can be sitting on a roof in Mexico and realize you don't have to have an excuse for anything in life, you just have to make choices and do things and stay true to yourself and remember that you always know the right answer.
The other day, I had my exit interview with my principal, and the funniest thing happened. We were talking about all the my positives and negatives about the school, what worked and what didn't, and I told her the funniest thing, something that I hadn't even realized before I spoke it aloud. I thanked her because, out of the miasma that was my Philadelphia experience, the one place of stability was the school. The school was nuts, don't get me wrong, but its consistency in nuttiness was the one thing I could count on here. I knew, more or less, what was going to happen every day, what the walls looked like, where to park my car, how to get lunch from the Dominican restaurant down the street, where to pick up last minute supplies on Front Street if I needed them. Isn't that funny? School was my place of stability in a city of craziness.
Papa Legba - Talking Heads
So tonight I am sitting in this yellow room, looking at piles of books and two suitcases of clothes, and a mantle covered with photos of the people I love, and am realizing that I am out of here so quickly. Epiphanies are funny things: the choice comes in actually listening to what you learn from yourself, and for acting on those realizations. I think, perhaps, that most of us know what we should do about 90% of the time, but there are so many distractions that stop us from acting.
So happy am I to realize that Philadelphia was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Thanks for reading. There will be a new, better blog soon, I think. Probably. For now, though, I am going to enjoy my next six days......
Philadelphia - Bruce Springsteen