The last week has been filled with preparations for our first Saturday Children’s Art Class (I teach Art Education full time at Ball State). I’ve been grading lesson plans, sending confirmation of registration emails to parents, and simultaneously double-checking and affirming my beginning teachers. Writing was far away.
The Saturday class went fine. The teachers were elated. Everything that said I had done a good job. But driving home, I thought about the essay I’d started four weeks ago, the short story that needed editing. They felt out of reach. Which was a little scary.
When I got home that afternoon, I found this announcement on Facebook.
“Returning in the Snow” nominated for Sundress Publication‘s 2018 Best of the Net by Atticus Review.
It was a nudge, a sign, a signal: don’t stop.
My essay, “Shoes” will be published in the Fall issue of Sport Literate Magazine.
Prince, Alan Rickman, and David Bowie all passed away around the winter of 2016. They were close to my own age of sixty and suddenly, I saw mortality as limited, finite. I used this as a motivation to start running again and, despite the work (and it was work), I found an unexpected surprise in the physical joy of it.
We are repainting the house this summer, including repairing the old double-hung wooden sash windows. Five or six have broken cords on one or both sides. Because of their construction, the only way to access the weights is by pulling off the interior woodwork—a wider facing board and the thinner glides that hold the sash in place.
It has felt a bit archeological. These spaces were nailed up in 1915 when they built the house. The wood inside the weight pockets is quite dark, giving these narrow spaces, which are purely functional, a surprising feeling of the sacred or secret.