Friday, September 23, 2005

Many Leveled Day

So much happened today, may small things with deep resonance- an experiment, a phone call, an attempted good deed.

Friday classes with the Friday student. I've been caught up lately in the kata I've described before, feeling that here is a student who can take that path at that intensity, listening and reading her dealing with the concept... it occured to me today that I was retracing steps on a path. Because the two-man kata were the things that gave certain gifts, the only things in my experience, I'd just accepted that they were the only way. A blind spot, an assumption... so today we started on a new way. It may work. It may work without the risk of catastrophic injury. At the close of class, she mentioned that she did not write enough in her notebook because so few of the concepts were in words, most were in feelings. So I put them in words for her and I was amazed at how much was covered in such a short time, because I remember and know it as a feeling, too.

Contraband in the jail is a big deal or a small issue, depending on the contraband and the circumstances. An officer and I spent the better part of an hour trying not to send someone to the hole for contraband. A delicate balance of what needed to happen (contraband removed) and what needed to not happen (the person getting a reputation as a snitch) and what would be nice to happen (the kid not losing any good time; us avoiding paperwork at the end of shift). The inmate, the kid, was very conscious of what he had to lose in terms of extra days in custody as well as the respect of his inmate peers... he played the line, doing what he felt he had to do, honorable by his own standards. It didn't work out perfectly, choices rarely do. But people learned a lot about each other.

A phone call from a friend is such a little thing. I finished the first draft of the book and sent it to a handful of carefully selected readers for the big critique. Kris called, "Yeah, I got it. I happened to be on the phone with my publisher and he wants to look at it. You mind?" I can stand alone in a cell with a three-hundred pound violent criminal and literally yawn when he starts talking trash... but one little sentance sent a trickle of adrenaline down my spine. A part of me is whispering, "The books not good enough yet. I'M not good enough." The same voice that whispers to everyone who writes and doesn't send it to a publisher, who trains and doesn't compete, who dreams and doesn't act. The voice is still there after the years and the scars and the....everything.

I've written four lines of poetry in my life that I thought were good and true:

The Dream is damned
And Dreamer too
If Dreaming's all
That Dreamer's do

Don't just dream.

No comments: