Monday, October 14, 2019

This Is Real

I don't think I'm much different than the typical preschool teacher in that I choose to work with young children because, frankly, I love being with young children: their little fingers in my palm when we walk hand-in-hand, putting bandaids on invisible wounds, waiting and waiting and waiting for their words to catch up with their excited brains. When they allow me to comfort them by picking them up, there a few things more dear than the warmth of their tears as they soak through my shirt onto my shoulder. Helping them eat, changing their diapers, wiping their noses, it's in these small moments that we are doing our work.

That's as it should be. This is exactly where we ought to be with them if we are doing it right, living in this moment with the rest of the world set aside as we live together right now. It's a place that we we can only enter on our knees, like a supplicant or a person at prayer. And, indeed, it is a sacred place, one in which we trust and where we are trusted, where we are of service are where we are served, where give our whole selves and where their whole selves are given to us.

Sadly, the rest of the world will not stay in the background forever. We can keep it at bay only as long as we remain focused on the children, these humans who live unaware of the worry and guilt that are the twin plagues of life outside this bubble in which emotions are not wasted on the future or the past, mythological places which we create with our own minds. The universe not a timeline, but rather an ever-emerging now. 

Children are born with this knowledge and in this they are our teachers. Those tears soaking through are shirts are the lesson: this is real, the rest is an accident of perception.

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