An intense day at the East Bay high school where just today I finished my student teaching...Such a heart-breaking national tragedy, and it has made me even more certain of having chosen public school teaching as part of my life's work. Grateful to get to spend my days with groups of such beautiful, empathetic, capable, brave and thoughtful young people whose ability to emotionally show up and intellectually break it down is continually beyond inspiring.
For me, as an individual, having this "job" simultaneously challenges and nourishes all the parts of myself and my life that I most care about: spirituality, politics, issues of justice, personal growth, sharing of knowledge, curiosity, creativity, transformation, real community, connectedness, intellectualism and love. I feel so incredibly grateful and fortunate.
Today, students' sadness and anger about what happened was palpable, with many of us crying together as students shared all their feelings about the horror of what those families must be feeling. They talked about having kids of their own someday and how scary it would be to love a child so much, the thought of losing them already unimaginable, of little sisters they wanted to run home to and hug, everyone feeling safe enough to openly weep.
Also included in our conversation today was their anger and sadness that the reality is that their little cousins, brothers, neighbors, friends and friends' children are regularly murdered violently here in the East Bay, essentially by a pervasive American racism, and thinking internationally, how tens of thousands of people (many of them children) in the Congo have been slaughtered just since Thanksgiving.
And yet those deaths, those tragedies do not even remotely inspire such outpouring as for the town of Newtown, Connecticut (which is over 95% white). We talked about the systems of isolation and oppression, the way the media controls us, but ultimately how—each of us—need to find ways to be in the world that actively create love and beauty, that change damaging systems, and that nourish us in the deepest and most essential ways.
Humbled, cracked open, sad, inspired, going to bed at 8pm.