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From Sisyphus: School

"Sisyphus speaking to the stars about his plight remembers his teacher"
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Our teacher handed us some seeds

and said,

“Go plant these in your yard

and water them,

then let your questions grow

with every leaf.

He hardly spoke except to ask

what’s on our minds,

and when we didn’t say a word,

he’d shake his head and say,

“Well, that’s too bad,

we’ve nothing to discuss,”

and then he’d sit down on a rock

and look up at the sky

or at the dirt,

and think.

One day we asked him

why he wouldn’t teach

and he replied,

“I am.”

“What do you mean?” we asked.

And when he said,

“I gave you seeds to plant

and everyday I ask what’s on your minds,

and now I’m waiting patiently

for you to learn

your teacher is inside of you.

I’m just a friend

with questions of my own,

but if you asked

what’s on my mind,

I’d have so many thoughts to share

we’d talk all day,

if I believed you cared

and only then."

That’s when our school began.

Our gardens grew

and leaf by leaf our questions bloomed,

and when he asked

what’s on our minds,

he’d have to say,

“Slow down!

“Slow down!

There’s so much to discuss

and do,

let’s find a way to turn this flood

into deep pools

where we can swim and not be swept away.

And when we did,

he stopped and said,

“Now swim.”

I can’t say now

how many years ago

I learned from him

that school was in my head,

and there were gardens everywhere

and pools

where I could sit all night

with frogs

and croak my questions at the moon

and then

dive in.


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