Aug-Nov 2014 } Letter from Linda
+ new email address and ever-present gratitude.
You may have noticed that this comes from a new email. New email (firstname.lastname@example.org), same Linda. Since then, here's what I've been up to:
Before I plunge forth into my update, I want to to repeat what I wrote in my last update. In the spirit of thanksgiving, what I wrote then holds ever true:
" I want to thank each and every person this doodle-letter is going out to: for being, having been, and who I hope will continue to be a part of my life. For the friends whose care and support made being painfully sick in Beijing bearable. For the mentor who takes time out of her busy schedule to listen to what I have to say. For the people who steadily bring new experiences into my life, For those of you whose drive and passion for your calling encourage me, by example, to constantly improve within my own life. A chance meeting with you, a kind word, musings over cup of warm coffee (or even a tepid bowl of dumplings…), time out of your day...
… you’re a part of the small intimacies, which fold and layer into deep friendships, the stuff that makes this life truly worth it.
So, you who make this life truly worth it, here's what's been happening thus far:
Leaving behind August heat
from Augusta GA to NYC
3 interviews and a chance
to visit friends
long time (it seems) no see
We munch on salmon bagels
and sip on teas
talk over beers upon built
(or being built)
Were are we heading?
How are we growing?
into newer versions
The moon shone bright
when bags were packed
and I headed off
to Boston city
To follow up on
a story called
"Panda Cub Academy"
... And follow up I did.
The Mandarin Immersion Montessori Preschool (Panda Cub Academy) was the last stop in my 2 week trip up north. Of the jobs I interviewed for, my experience there not only sparked my interest, but also something else. A feeling of joy when a small hand slips into mine, at the sight of bright eager eyes waiting for the next chapter of a story. And there are so many stories to tell, to create...
Back to Augusta.
Back to home.
..to carve pumpkins and await news
Yes, home is where the heart is,
And this heart rejoices
in the company of those she loves.
Yet in that heart fear also grows:
(Healthy perhaps because it keeps me on my toes)
Yet those toes - and fingers - sometimes freeze
When doubts crowd in, fed by the words
of those who love.
"Waste not any more time bouncing about
what type of life is this?
Do you care about future security
in 10 - 20 years?
Mark my words you'll regret this"
The fears my family have for me are also mine. While I know what I want to do:
0) Change the world by...
1) provide quality education to as many students as possible
2) Create works of beauty that inform, inspire and promote growth and
3) Be somewhere that allows me to learn how to do #1 and #2 better
... there are still many undefined variables:
What do I mean by education?
Moral and/or Civic education?
Social skills development?
helping to develop metacognition?
And what do I mean by provide?
Do I create materials for learning?
Be the best classroom teacher I can be?
Go into policy and change how things or done
Or go into research and figure out how things can be done?
What do I mean by "works of beauty?"
Fiction? Visual art?
picture books or blog posts?
I say I want to inspire and inform
but do I have an audience
willing to listen?
And above all: Who I am to even dare?
(Who am I, untested, a dilettante, to have an ambition so large?)
... But for now I pat those fears on the head and send them away. And follow a rule of thumb, which has served me well:
And make time for the projects that test and make true the statement of "I do what I love":
Beautiful Lives Project
To seek, to learn, to listen
from those who dream
And do as well
And to create beautiful, informative posts
about their lives and work.
心花 A Hart's Journey
A book a long time coming
And finally designed
A year of research, conversation, art making and love
for my Hua Dan family
Ocean's Pearl (Book)
The story of Ocean and Mei
heard in Zhuhai
Manuscripted in Zhuhai, Xian and Beijing
and re-drafted and digitized
by the blue shores of Hawaii
My first complete manuscript
retold from a Chinese legend
Thoughts about this life
...And as I create, I feel the fears subside.
Still there, but no longer controlling. And I feel happy, which today, I am so, so thankful to be. To wrap up then, I share this quote, attributed to the King:
Something to do:
Someone to love:
Also, mentioned above... but I'd also like to add:
I love my family who have raised me well. I love the teachers and mentors who have marked and influenced my life, and I love the friends who have left equally deep a mark. I love my lovers, past and present, who have taught me about both heart ache and heart thrills. Who have laughed, cooked, painted and, well, many other things with me.
Thank you for being my first, for helping me crush again, for picking up the pieces, for teaching me to dance, for being just plain fun, for being so perfectly sweet, and for being so incredibly real. I’ve learned that a huge part of love, whether in family, friendship, or romance, is being able to count on someone. For their interest, for their time, for their consideration. May I always remember to give all three to those I call friends, family and lovers.
I love myself, the hard worker and dreamer in me who wants to change the world
...and believes she can do so through art, and writing, and sharing, and teaching. And the love I have for myself (along with the love my friends have for me) encourage me to pursue a path which is described by some as “non traditional” and others as “foolish”. I even love the scared girl who is alive and well within me who doesn’t think she can do it - who thinks that no one will read even this far so what the hell I can start typing whatever I want here *also - if you DID read this far… message me and I owe you a beer*
and lastly, something to look forward to:
Oh. The future. I want to see what it brings. And what fruits, if any, come of our labors to make this world a better place.
Thanksgiving essay over:)
With love and until next time
p.s. Wonder how this format above turned out... I've been playing with different ways to convey information. My mind hops around so much that dicing up my prose into poetic bits is sometimes necessary.