Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Today has been a day of uncertainty. I learned that an English teacher is resigning from my school system. So I will probably be moved from to a new position. The first year of a job is tough and now that I'm in my second year, the thought of going back to another first year is daunting, as is the waiting to find out, waiting for the admins to decide.

I see part of the attraction of self-employment. There is some feeling of control with no one overhead to pull your strings.

Which is why I was talking to my therapist today about pushing harder on this writing thing. There too I feel a lot of uncertainty. I imagine myself as a full-blown writer making some kind of living at the job, but how to get from here to that imagined self remains uncertain. I want magic dust and the wave of a wand to transform me. Instead, I have 750 words tonight, 750 tomorrow, a few poems a week, and a whole lot of work to get myself published. I think I prefer the magic. I'm sure of it.

Beyond the professional life and finding some way to make the thing I love doing into my profession, there are the usual uncertainties at home. My youngest daughter is struggling with her emotions. She has come home from school lately feeling angry or upset. We talk and she comes around, usually explaining what worry is bogging her down, but I don't know what's happening with her or how to best help. My oldest is just mysterious. Who will she be? What does she want? How does she feel? She is guarded and quiet (sometimes) and leaves me uncertain if I'm serving her needs.

This Sunday will be my wife's and my wedding anniversary. Seventeen years ago when we exchanged vows I thought we had it all figured out. And if not then, I knew that by 2012 it would all be clear. It turns out that I know a lot of things but the questions keep coming. I'm sure that someone warned me about this, but it's one of those things I have had to experience to believe.

Turns out that neither my wife nor I are perfect, healthy beings. We have our issues, problems, strengths and weaknesses. Digging deep into ourselves we keep finding new things to work out. Some of it, truth to tell, just sucks. We look at it together with reluctance and heavy sighs. Aw, man, we say. We have to deal with this? We shake our heads and get to work wondering when we will get over there, across the water, and into the place where it all makes sense and feels easy.

Don't even tell me that that place doesn't exist. I'll punch you right in the nose.

This uncertainty is the sort of thing that has always gotten me running. But tonight I'm sitting still, typing. I'm not looking to solve or figure it out with these words. I'm not trying to ice over it or hide things from my own eyes. The writing is just to be in the uncertainty. I'm writing, uncertain what to do, say, or even write. Sure only that I'm committed to write on.