Archive for March, 2005



March 15, 2005

Mood: Healing
Song: Law and Order Theme (it also just happens to be my ringtone)

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering of the stomach, the same restlesness, the yawning.”
-C.S. Lewis

Five o’clock.
Lenny Briscoe is “good cop” again as the Law and Order sirens blare
My student Dustin channeled Jack McCoy as he pounded away at Raskolnikov
His recollected voice rings through my stupor
“Objection your Honor-facts not in evidence”
The jury has no way of overturning this verdict:

Cello’s father passed away this semester-Cello was in class that very week.
“I know how it feels”, he reminds me; he alone has an inkling
In my mind’s eye he fills the room as his “deadly” pit bull, Annika, licks his face.
He is educating the class about “bully breeds”
Law and Order covered the topic of dog attacks too.
Ripped from the headlines. Ripped from my life.

The old masters understood.
“Cast your nighted color off”, Hamlet’s mother pleads with me.
Frozen words slicing through a heart made ice.
All the rest is silence.
“’Tis sweet and commendable in your nature…
To give these mourning duties to your father.”
He should have died hereafter-that’s Macbeth’s lesson for today.
There would have been time.
My students hate time.
Stealing their youth with measured tread he invades our classroom.
Chained to a plastic second hand they sit
Always active
Chewing, scratching, blinking, listening (?)

What use are Chaucer, Bronte, Dostoyevsky
When death can gather with dread swoop?
Do not ask for whom the bell tolls-
At that sound thirty-two of them leap
From the comfort of wooden chair and
Flood the hallways with their cries.
Do they remember?
I cannot efface their images.

Every Friday Holland wears a shirt as golden as the posters she paints
Advertising Sadie Hawkins.
The canary hue was chocolate-coated the day we celebrated research papers completed
With M & M’s and granola bars.
The sample paper I provided dealt with grief’s stages
It didn’t mention how the legs become lead weights
And the tongue sticks
As if I’ve indulged in too much “Our Strawberry Blonde” ice cream from Cold Stone
Do I dare return after this week’s hiatus expires?
Dare disturb the fabric of their universe with my salt-laden tears?

I imagine my hand pushing open the door to Room 171
Because Tyler-
He who gave me my “quote of the day” last Friday
Though he wanted no one else to know-
Wrote to say“We’re still thinking of you.”


From the Desk of Grapefruity Snicket

March 11, 2005

Mood: Shattered, not stirred and completely empty
Song: Amazing Grace (my beloved Mr. B's favorite)

If you're looking for my typical good cheer and frivolous word play, read no further. You have many other, better things to do than read this posting full of miserable musings. It is my suggestion that you step away from your computer immediately and run to your nearest Starbucks (or, as my fiancee would call it-the closest branch of the evil corporation) and fill up on vanilla chai lattes instead. Complete a paint-by-number Monet. Bathe an alpaca even. What I have to relate isn't pretty, but it's very real and pressing.

It's inconceivable to fathom how life can change in a matter of days…hours even. Last Saturday, my stepfather, the man who basically raised me since I was twelve years old, passed away. It was his 54th birthday. His homegoing was as unexpected as it was swift (an electrical problem with the heart, based on information my family has received). His memorial service was this evening, and needless to say my mother and I (I'm an only child)have been living moment by moment for the past week.

My mentor teacher, to put it mildly, is PHENOMENAL. Not only has she taken over classes for this week so I can help sort through necessary paperwork and stand by my mother as she makes arrangements, but she has gone far beyond any call of duty. I won't tell you all of it, since tear splatters and the circuits of my keyboard don't seem to mix well, but I will say that she had each and every one of my classes sign a card for me which I will treasure for the rest of my life. It's funny *ironic, not "ha ha"* that a person can remain strong through the most challenging situation imaginable but mere words will reduce the knees to a pile of peach jelly and cause the eyes to well up. Their messages were poignent and their sentiments sincere. You never know how much people care until a situation like this arises.

Forgive me, but my heart is so full these days and my mind so scattered words are not as free-flowing as in former time. I did, however, begin to compose a sonnet (is anyone who knows me REMOTELY surprised? What can I say? A name like Juliet has to earn me a certain amount of cred, right?

In Memorium Bear Sorensen, my father in every true sense of the word, who, with incomparable patience, led me to trust that my Heavenly Father is indeed good, true, and loving. He taught me to ride a bike and drive a car (his most daunting challenge), and my mind still fails to grasp that in two months, when I walk down the aisle, his hand will not be there to steady me. I know he gazes now upon Mercy Himself, who has said to him, "well done, good and faithful servant". Father, I thank you for the life of your servant shared with us for all too short a span. I imitated him in my clumsiness as he mirrored your perfection, and I cannot believe that I will never again behold him in the body. Comfort your children, Lord; be a husband to the widow and a father to the orphaned. Your grace sustains, but the pain is deep, as you yourself understood when you wept with Mary and Martha at the death of your dear Lazarus. "I do not try, Lord, to attain Your lofty heights, because my understanding is in no way equal to it. But I do desire to understand Your truth a little, that truth that my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand so that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand. for I believe this also, that 'unless I believe, I shall not understand' [Isa. 7:9]" (Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion 87).

The question rings across the darkened ages: WHY? In its very simplicity it is deceptive, and that single utterance has the power to contort the mind. I have no answer, and "eyn shalom": there is no peace. The rest is silence.

For those who love me, set heart and mind at ease-the Lord who calmed the storm can anchor the heart of his child as well. "Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning'. Recognize that, for right now, life sucks. Love and comfort in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ-Good night.