When I drove home from Maine today, my original plan was to do straight to the Java Hut, write and do some editing work for some folks, and then stick around for poetry. I found myself unable to do that. Even when I got off the highway and drove around in Worcester, I couldn’t bring myself to stop. I got back on the highway, drove straight to my hometown. I managed to get to the local cafe, and then drove a couple of students from my school home from there to school so they wouldn’t be late.
All day since then, I’ve been kind of moping around, working on minor projects here and there, and making stupid mistakes — like losing a complex file I’d been working on to the stupidest thing in the world (not saving). I’ve been waiting for something. I’ve tried a couple of times to get up and go, and get energized to go work on something, or go to poetry, or stuff, and I’ve been thinking it was waiting for (Leah) to get home from her weekend, or something.
Nope. Turns out it was one of my students who needed to talk to me. After keeping me waiting the whole damn afternoon, he finally got up his courage to call me and tell me he wasn’t coming back to school. Kid has been wrestling with not being here since September, and I’ve been investing energy in him, magical and otherwise, to keep him in school here, where he seemed to belong.
All in vain, apparently. He’s broken free and gone off to do his own thing, largely because his parents have been failing to exercise some of their own energetic powers, namely, paying their son’s school. Not my problem, I guess. In any case, this kid told me he wasn’t coming back, and a great flood of energy washed back into me. WIthout knowing it, he returned to me what I’d invested in him, empowered me in extraordinary ways.
I was able to say to him, “you have the potential to be remarkable and amazing, but it’s only potential right now. You have to strive to be remarkable, and only you can do it.”
I think he heard me. I think he was really listening when I said it. I hope he was, because I sent a little bit of what he gave back to me down the line to him. Maybe it will make a difference.
In any case, now I know why I wasn’t able to get out of the house yesterday. I’ve kinda had a sense that this kid wasn’t coming back for a good three or four weeks, and that sense had just been getting stronger, and stronger. Tonight, I stepped out onto my porch, and I saw a fetch of him in the parking lot, walking toward the school’s main gate. The phone rang a minute later, and he was telling me he was going, or rather, not coming back at all. What a surprise.
I just wish the kid had decided earlier to not come back, so I could get my energy back a little more quickly. Waiting for him to make up his mind was tedious. And I missed poetry, too, waiting for him to call. I hope no one else ruins a Sunday off like that again, though they probably will.