a girl named “Moon”

August 29, 2012

It has been a struggle to find time lately. Time to do the business of each day is scarce, never mind time to process it. And yet I’ve longed to write, longed for the space to get away and get it out, creatively speaking. That’s what always happens, though, when I’m in the middle of some sort of energy-intensive endeavor. In this case, the endeavor is that of acting as a solo librarian and being responsible for teaching seven different grade levels. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with such a role, but it’s a weighty one, that brings with it plenty of pressure.
And today, I am tired. One full week of school feels like it has been a month already. But more than tiredness, I feel anxious about the lack of in-between time. I fear that all the busy moments of each day will be lost to me because I have not been able to somehow document them.
Each time a conversation strikes me, and I have to run on to the next thing, I worry: is this moment going to lose its meaning because I have not had the time to write it down?
And each time I see a thing of beauty, I worry: will I forget this loveliness because I did not manage to take a photo while the moment was with me?
But the conversation ends. The moment passes. And I am still rushing on to the next task, still being struck by interactions and by beauties.
So now, at the end of a school day, as I ready for the evening activities, I wonder . . .
Could it be that there is a time and a place for activity that does not allow for a moment to process? Is there grace for periods in which you just have to keep moving on to the next thing?
Could it be that my job in this time is to let go of the desire to step back and reflect, and instead just keep living those moments? Could it be that the moments will be meaningful even if I do lose track of them? Even if I do forget them?
Each time lately that I have had an “agenda” for reflection, life just seems to interfere.
I thought, perhaps, that I would take a creative campus photo in between my last class and the faculty meeting. But instead, a birthday party needed photography, and a little boy needed to hand me a piece of super-sized, toppling birthday cake.
And I thought, perhaps, that in between carline duty and my high school aid student, I would write down a few of the day’s moments. But instead, my students from last year, in their P.E. class, requested that I join their jump-rope team . . . how could I not?
We found out this week that all of us on staff were invited to the wedding of a cousin of one of the student families here. It is not the sort of event I particularly enjoy. For one, I like to go to bed at a decent hour, especially on a school night before a high-profile Open House day. Secondly, I do not particularly like fancy festivities. Especially one in which I am going to be a foreign spectacle, expected to sit demurely where I am placed and watch [no joining in allowed ☺] the traditional rituals and dances. But I felt it was important to accept the invitation. And the people that I work with, live with, and love, would be there. So I shut down my computer for the evening, left my camera in its case, and joined the party. It was long; it was, well, interesting; and it was worth it.
One of the things on my to-do list today was photographing all the students who I did not get a headshot of last year. As I leaned in to one new student to try to understand what she was telling me her name was, I noticed how lovely her huge brown eyes were. She looked at me shyly and said the name again. “Spoojmi,” I asked? What an unusual sounding name, I thought. Then I learned the meaning of her name, and smiled at the thought of it. The little girl’s name means “Moon.”
As we came back to our house, around midnight, from the wedding, one of my housemates stopped with an exclamation of “Oh!”
What is it?
“Look at the moon!” she explained.
The three of us stood for a moment, gazing at the hazy cloud-covered full moon, with its eerie loveliness. Then we headed to our bedrooms, made our preparations for the next day of activities, and we slept soundly, if shortly, all under the same bright moon.

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