Today is a day for dissonance.
A day of demands constantly unfulfilled; For trying to get to work, only to be distracted by every small thing: The giant fly buzzing around the room, the leaf blowers two streets over, my dog deciding she cannot stand the wind and subsequently barking -at every small thing. While I try to answer emails, write lesson plans, create cohesive and communicable writing workshop, answer another email, remember the lesson plan is still open, delete the progress I’ve made because it is clearly all tripe. All while I try (not) to monitor my social media presence, keep track of the next few days meetings, or maybe I should clean the garage, or scour the kitchen – for sure I need to vacuum, maybe make soup? Marinade meat for dinner. No. Sit down and get to work….but then my cup is empty and I need to go back downstairs to make another cup of coffee…and while that perks, I’ll just start a load of laundry, or maybe rake some leaves. I’m like that mouse that someone has given a cookie, and like that mouse a whole lot of a little bit might get done, but in the end, I am back at the beginning. Different words, same meaning: A day of unfinished business.
That is how today has gone. I have not finished the work that I set out to complete, though I have finished many tasks. I feel behind in every area of life, and yet, I’m a little ahead on a few things. Is this how I live now? Connected to three devices to communicate with colleagues and clients, while cleaning our kitchens and scheduling kids, and planning or making meals, and trying to make sure the laundry actually moves from washer to dryer and the dust on the piano doesn’t continue to pile in a way that I can write my lessons there. I don’t have a way to measure or prioritize the items I should complete. I don’t have a way to meter my time, and the rhythm of the day is pushing me forward. No one likes to play in 12/8 time when the movements are so short -when the sun goes down and the day is done before we’ve even remembered to look up and see the morning – when the waltz has turned to jitterbug and my feet won’t keep up.
How can we meet in the middle? A common time, a common place – a Moonlight Sonata, a Moonlit Sonnet – 14 lines, Iambic Pentameter and a bit of a bounce; Bass notes to push the treble along and a fluid mirror movement from slow to fast – loud to soft, a slight turn and the dwindling stillness of the day that was supposed to be and the night that comes too quick.
“Practice makes progress”, I say to the wind and the world and the students on the screen. And I hope they hear my heart beating for their well-being and my voice chiming in with a a positive spin where they’re not sure, and I’m not sure, what practice and progress and productivity looks like, and we all have a list a mile a long, written in invisible ink, pushing us through the constantly changing time signature of the days and night pulling us down to a reality we don’t always recognize as our own. “Practice makes progress”, and tomorrow I get to try again.