No Class Today

There’s no Spiritual Poetry Writing class today.

Donna usually takes a week off between workshop series, and who could blame her? She works tirelessly to create a safe and supportive space in the Zoom room for us poets. We pour out our heartache and joy into words, 10 minutes at a time, and then we share.

I am comforted when I’m not the only one who struggles to decipher her scribbled cursive.

My voice trails off, and then, “Sugar!” Deep breath. I try again, tentatively reading the line aloud. I don’t see my poet friends smiling at me; last week one typed in the chat that she loved how I always say “sugar” instead of cursing.

Remembering this, I smile.

Many years of teaching teenagers in the classroom combined with not an insignificant number of pastoral meetings and shiva visits on Zoom have primed my filter to deliver an automated response to frustration. I’m especially mindful when unmuted or standing near a hot mic.

During our time together, I live in the moment. I permit the swirl of spoken syllables to permeate the lining of my heart, listen closely for the still, small voice to emerge from the silence, embrace the messiness of freewriting.

Sometimes—when I don’t have anywhere to be after Donna ends the meeting—I sit at the computer for a while. If my creative spirit is so moved, I transcribe the two or three poems I’ve just composed, reciting and revising as I type. 

Since there’s no class today and I’m missing my poet friends, I thought I’d share a poem I wrote last month and revised again a few minutes ago. I’m not entirely sure this is the last revision, but it reflects how I am feeling and where I am living right now: in the present.

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