My apologies, friends, for being absent - both in writing and reading your blogs. I have been grading papers for the past week, and I forget that this seemingly straightforward task can take on monumental proportions...
Tonight I am awake.
Maybe it is the moon. Or hormones. Or something I haven't considered yet.
But I am awake, and grading papers. Since I am awake, I might as well be doing something useful and this is good. It is quiet and I can attend to these papers.
These papers are taking on lives of their own for me. As I read them, I am absorbing bits of other peoples stories. Life stories. Things they may have never considered before are revealed to me, laying bare on the page. I see in their words the blueprints of future experiences - which may or may not come to pass. They are young. They are old. They know everything and nothing. Some already understand things about life that their peers will never understand. In others I can see a path of least resistance already forming, the water trickling through their young souls forming crevices.
Some are defiant. They will prove everyone wrong. Their parents. Their friends. Themselves.
Others are disturbed. Why did no one tell them about the world outside of their family and towns? How can they be responsible for everything? The world is too big and they are too small.
A few are hostile. They are the victims. They are the ones being made to feel uncomfortable. Stereotypes are kinda true, aren't they?
In some, I see a glimmer. Their consciousness has expanded to allow for possibilities of conversation and understanding. A discussion about who we are as is defined by the choices we make. The ones we make with purpose and intent. That those decisions - the scary and often painful ones? Build our foundations. The realization that reflection on those decisions - even the ones we didn't make, or wish we had done differently - the ability to reflect already sets you apart from many others.