Saturday, August 1, 2020

Once Upon a Time




In a moment between heartbeats and an instant between blinks, when my mind had released this world but not yet made it to the Dreamland, Good appeared.

"Let me tell you a story, little one," she whispered, and I nodded my permission because I loved listening to her voice.

"Once upon a time there was a princess who was as beautiful as dawn," she began. "Her feet were light as clouds and her skin as soft as summer rain, and wherever she turned her face there shone brilliant sunshine. So they called her Morning Star."

"What happened to her?" I asked, for even in that instant that wasn't an instant I knew no story had a happy ending.

"There was a Wolf," Good said, and that explained everything.

"It killed her," I posited.

"In a way," she said. Her blue eyes twinkled ever so faintly in the light of that place that wasn't a place and that time that wasn't a time. "But not quite. You see, the Wolf was evil, but he was a gifted mimic. He could appear as glory. Or pride. Or justice. Or pleasure. He kept his true nature concealed by living in the shadows, but because the princess was made of light he could never hide before her. In her presence, everyone saw him for what he was. He hated her for it."

I giggled at the idea of this Technicolor princess, but already a slowly seeping dread was leaking into the back of my heart for her. No one stood up to evil and got away with it. Especially when evil had good costumes.

"How could she be made of light?" I asked, each syllable a shifting cadence of time and personhood, the "how" adolescent and mellow, the "light" an effusion of ten different BBs, the "she" a child's bell-clear soprano, high and filled with wonder. "Wouldn't she just float away?"

"Well, she wasn't made of just light," Good confided, leaning forward to kiss my cheek. "But her essence was light. When she was happy, she glimmered like shooting stars brought close. When she was in love, she shimmered like a field of fireflies. Like the afternoon bursting through a thundercloud. And when she was angry...you should have seen her. She grew brighter and brighter until it was like there were two suns in the sky. There was no shadow deep enough for the Wolf then."

"It sounds like you loved her," I observed, hugging a teddy bear that became a Walkman that became a journal that became a smartphone.

Good's eyes were a sea of blue on shimmering blue that her smile didn't quite reach.

"She was one of my best friends," she answered. "I miss her all the time."



I patted her on the arm.

"I'm sorry about your friend. The Wolf seems very mean. Maybe she wasn't strong enough."

"But that's just the thing," Good replied. "She was. That's why she had to be the one to confront him. The Wolf had been a problem for a while, and all of Morning Star's friends decided that only Sunlight was up to the job of banishing Shadow. So they gave the task to her. Her duty was to battle the Wolf in the plain of the heavens, binding him there so he could never break free and visit his discord upon the Earth."

"But he did," I supplied, eyes as big as saucers.

"But he did," Good agreed solemnly. "He wasn't strong enough to kill the princess, but, like her, he knew how to use magic. So one day when the princess was wounded, the Wolf used a terrible spell that he'd been saving for that exact moment. A spell that hurt her very deeply, even though she didn't die." 

Worse. WORSE, WORSE, WORSE, WORSE.

Wait, Good didn't say that. Who was it, then? I guess it doesn't matter.

But maybe it was me.

"Then what did the spell do?" I asked.

"It imprisoned her."

"How?"



Good wiped her fingers beneath her eyelids and paused for a long moment.

"He made her forget who she was," she said finally. "And put her in a world where no one would understand her. Where she was no longer beautiful or powerful or terrible. At least not in the same ways. And he set two little wolves to guard her, just as she had guarded him. 'If she ever starts to remember,' he told them. 'Rip at her with the fangs I gave you, until she can think of nothing but your teeth and her fear.' Each bite pierced a little piece of her spirit. If they bit hard enough and long enough, he hoped, maybe they'd be able to bite her soul right out of her. What threat would she be then?"

"Well," I shook my head with my lips pressed together. "You might want to forget about your friend, because it sounds like he really offed her."

Good's laughter brought some of the hope back into the world and made me hear, as it always did, the faint ring of wind chimes.

"You know, I don't tend to write people off," she answered, her face transformed for a second by a mischievous grin. "And in any case, the princess had three things going for her. Strengths the Wolf couldn't take away, and that he was hoping she wouldn't learn how to use before he got loose of the chain she'd used to tie him to the stars."

"What were they?" I queried. I hadn't exactly been sold on this burning-princess thing at the outset, but Good was a total drama queen and she knew how to drive home a pitch. I was hooked.



"One,"  Good elaborated, raising a finger for theatrical effect. "She had a magical pen. Not one she could carry. But one deep inside. One that was part of her blood and her heart and her whole being. It made her a storyteller, even in this realm that was so foreign to her. And few people are more powerful than storytellers."

I nodded.

"Two," she continued. "She had a grandmother who loved her. And believed in her. And armored her in books and kisses and chocolate-chip cookies."

I guffawed at that one.

"How could a grand ma help you against an evil wolf with magic powers?" I shot with a cocked eyebrow. "No offense or anything. But I have a grand ma who does all that stuff and I've never caught her fighting any wolves."

Good stared at me for a long moment before enveloping me in a hug that felt like the heat from a summertime camp fire.

"Oh, but BB," she whispered. "There is no greater defense against the wolves of the world than a grandmother and her chocolate-chip cookies. This is one of those things you don't understand yet. You just have to trust me on it. Okay?"

I looked up at her careworn face with my eyes that were two, or maybe twelve, or maybe twenty-two years old, and I agreed.

"And three," Good finished. "Her magic was stronger than the Wolf's. Even with making her forget, and with putting her in that terrible place, and with sending his own wolves to hurt her, he knew he could only delay the time when she would come for him. One day, the sunrise inside her would grow so big and so bright and so wonderful that she would wake up. Remember it all."

"I guess that Wolf's really in for it then," I noted. "She's probably gonna be pissed."

Wind chimes and gentle glinting tears.

"I think you're right, BB."

"So when do you think that'll be?" I asked. "You know--when is she going to wake up?"

Good surveyed me evenly and then cast a glance to the edge of the void, where the faintest glimpse of dawn was spilling over the horizon.

"I guess whenever she's ready."

Friday, July 31, 2020

Thresholds




I've crossed so many thresholds
And closed so many doors
I've dragged so many packaged lives
Across so many floors

I've glimpsed so many phantoms
I've dreamed so many dreams
A teasing taste of what could be
Under unchanging eaves

I've seen arrays of beauty
And cities burning bright
I've toasted over golden isles
Imbibed the Third Rome's light

I've seen the sky burn emerald
On cold thousand-star nights
From my steps I watched the mighty
Yukon turn to ice

Each place becomes a capsule
Each pane a frozen line
Each to be traded in its turn
For none of them are mine

A tenant of existence
In rented roles I find
While seeking over compass points
One door to stay behind

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Between


This summer has been one of the moments when it feels like the whole world is holding its breath, hasn't it? Our country is ravaged by disease, torn by political division, savaged and beaten and gasping with blows from secret police. Right here. In America. We told ourselves it could never come and that, if it did, we'd rise up in heroic rebellion like our Founders. Banners flying and blades gleaming.

Instead, a few of us have risen up. But a little under half of us have justified it, rationalized it, dismissed that it's as big a threat as it seems, or even outright embraced it as something we've wanted for a long time. We're learning now who would have supported the Nazis early in their rise. It's our aunts. Our friends. Our neighbors. Our grandmothers. People we never would have expected. People who seemed so nice.

"They shouldn't have rioted. They're getting what they deserve."

What to do with that?


It all reminds me vaguely of Russia. Beginning in the late Soviet era there was an unspoken agreement that, so long as they did nothing to oppose the state, ordinary people could live their lives in peace, and that bargain has endured into the present Russian Federation. No one discusses politics there. At all. The sharp absence of that topic is one of the most striking things a visitor notices when moving even in highly educated circles, but the Russians have compensated. They develop intricate, rich personal worlds, and that is where they live their lives.

So this summer, I turned in. 

Lost myself in beauty and pleasure and friendship and reflection. Rekindled the loving embers of old friendships, fed logs of camaraderie into relatively new ones, and decided, in a moment of hurtful clarity, to let an ancient one slip away into the wind. I've known him since I was eighteen, and I don't let people go easily. But it was time. Some people, as Black Dress Girl recently told me, are ships in the night. But some sail beside you for years. Decades. What feels like it will be forever, until one day you look at the coordinates and realize you'll cross over different horizons.


Relationships have been at the heart of my thought process lately. After all, a corollary to "Who am I?" is "Who will love me?" Maybe it's my age. A biological clock, if a thing like that can exist for a man. A man. Ha. Is that what I am? A natural part of the transgender experience is vacillation between heady self-assurance and cratering self-doubt. "I am a strong woman (who should start hormones)" on the one hand and "I am batshit insane" on the other. But whatever I am, the part of me that melts when faced with puppies and babies; the part that enjoyed, even when I was a child, taking care of those younger than me, has of late been fairly well occupied with thoughts of domesticity. 

Is it just the old loneliness becoming particularly acute? Thirty-two years is an awfully long time to go with only one Gavril to break up the solitude. Which has always been the issue with me; I'm a sparkling conversationalist, a lively wit, a vibrant extrovert who moves from one professional success to another, amassing money and adventures and friends and doing it all with a profound sorrow nestled inside. A hole in my heart that should be filled by...what? Who? Not that I expect a man to solve all my problems. Wise Woman was right when she said that you're best able to be a partner when you're satisfied being alone. But having someone to come home to would make the nakedness of the sky feel a lot less crushing. 


This loneliness is so prodigious, so warping, that I sometimes wonder if an honest assessment of my personality and gender can even occur in the face of it. The last year or so of my life has been confused on that end, and in all of my ruminations on masculinity and femininity the only conclusion I've arrived at for sure is that a final decision will need to wait until I am in a settled and supportive environment. Happily, I am closer to that, though there are a few destinations at which I could actually arrive and none of them is yet a clear frontrunner.

The possibilities are three.

Way back in October 2019 I applied for a job with International Organization, then was informed in January that I'd advanced through the extremely selective application process and been invited to an in-person interview in Marble City in March. The coronavirus intervened, of course, and that interview, while still guaranteed, has been indefinitely postponed.

"You know," one of my mentors in the organization told me. "You could apply for the domestic branch of I.O. The work is similar but it's all based in the U.S., so the hiring criteria are a lot looser. That's a second foot in the door."

And now, many months later, I've made the roster of I.O.'s domestic hiring database. A job in this field would take me back to the Southern State region, let me do rewarding research and communications work, and open countless other professional doors. 

Then there's the third option: just staying in Arctic State.


"That's not a bad gig at all," I told Miss Violet, a teaching colleague who became a fast friend. She visited me in person later in the summer, but on this occasion we were on the phone as I paced about my cavernous kitchen. "I could get my special education certification and move to Iceport. And there's so much room to move up in Arctic State. Eventually I could make my way to a principalship and earn a ton of money. There could be a really rewarding career up there. It's high wage and low pressure. I mean, who gets to have that? It's not something to casually turn away from."

"Right," she answered. "And the important thing is that you have good options. Even if you go to work for I.O. and decide you don't like it, Arctic State is still going to be there."

"And I just got my five-year certification, too. So I have some flexibility to leave even for a couple of years and then jump right back in."

"Mm-hm."


What is absolutely undeniable is that my internal exile must end. I wouldn't exactly call this a cry for help, but I'm hurting. Most days are open wounds, and what keeps me going is knowing that the way I'm living now has an expiration date. Even if I am closer to civilization this time 'round.

You see, my new job, in the little village of Via Borea, does something that none of my other Arctic State positions have done: it connects me to the state highway system. Iceport might be seven hours away and Aurora City over a mountain, but both are there. If it ever gets to be too much, I can hop in the car and go. That was never on the table before.

For right now, it's enough. In about eight months' time, though, I have decided that I will be doing one of two things: preparing for a job with I.O. or beginning a certification program that will allow me to move to Iceport in the fall of 2021. Man or woman, teacher or public liaison, BB or Starlight, I burn too bright to hide away in the dark. And I can't long endure it. 

It's the damnedest thing. For years I dreamed of independence and of money, and then both came in spades only to carry this terrible catch. I have, to be frank, a lot of shit to figure out, and the bizarre trajectory of an adulthood that launched me straight from my mother's house to the ends of the Earth is facilitating that figuring-out inadequately.

Things may never be totally "normal" for me. Iceport would be more or less conventional (if cold), but a career with I.O. would likely be nomadic and involve a life lived across several continents. Both, though, offer the opportunity of membership in actual communities, however strange the context, and my hope is that a lot of stubborn puzzle pieces will begin to fall into place once that's achieved. It's a step I've long needed to take, and I'm eager to initiate it.

My life, my proper life, deserves to begin.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Reflections on Thirty-Two


On April 10 I turned thirty-two years old, entering the third year of a decade that has so far been defined by professional success, personal growth, and lengthening tendrils of discovery splaying around me like the petals of some miraculous flower. The contrast with my besieged twenties couldn't be starker, and as the distance from that time grows the narrative of my life has had to shift with it. When you met me I defined myself, understandably, in terms of opposition. I wouldn't be like my parents. Wouldn't be like my bullies. I wouldn't be like all those toxic actors who had power over me.

They don't have power anymore.

These days I'm calling my own shots, and as I've gotten more used to that--as I've come to realize that independence is not a parlor trick ready to vanish with the pulling of a curtain--I've begun to gradually shift from a mindset of survival to one of growth. Saying, "I'm so different from the people who hurt me" is not enough anymore. More and more, the question is, "Who am I?" Me on my own. Me not in juxtaposition to somebody else, but as a freestanding entity.

Thirty-two has been lovely, but the memory of turning thirty is something I'll savor for the rest of my life. When I was in my middle twenties, fresh off a suicide attempt, pudgy from my depression-induced binge-eating, ashamed and undermined by my depression-induced binge-drinking, living on other people's dime and at their whim, thirty was a mantra. By thirty, I'd have a career. By thirty I'd have money. By thirty I'd be on my own. By thirty I'd be, I swore, under 150 pounds again.


My thirtieth birthday dawned in sun-soaked Alaska springtime, a blazing-bright morning that greeted me with confetti and celebratory phone calls. On my front door was a colorful constellation of birthday cards made by students and staff, under the supervision of Wise Woman, a good friend who lived next door to my beautiful apartment. I was surrounded by love and validation. Right after I woke up, I stood on the scale on my living room and the number that flashed back at me read 149.4 pounds. I stood in my foyer that morning, surveying my life, and I wept tears of disbelief and joy.

"It all happened. It all actually happened." Somewhere deep down, I never really believed I'd get to have it. But I did. And I do.

In the two years since the bright sunrise of thirty, I've worked to discover the grown-up BB, and that effort has taken me to some surprising places. To several corners of Alaska. To Russia. To my first relationship (with Gavril, who was nothing short of saintly in the face of my unrelenting tide of craziness and damage). To the acknowledgement, at long last, that whatever I am, I am not quite a regular boy.

"You know, it doesn't need to be one thing or another," said Raven, a mother of one of my students and someone with whom I grew close enough to confide my struggles with identity. Raven is an Athabascan Native steeped in the culture of her people, and her conception of gender doesn't exactly align with the Western binary. "We have a word for people like you: two-spirit."

I considered that. That maybe all this wasn't quite as simple as a pink baby popping out in blue wrapping.

"Did you know at all?" I asked. "You don't seem surprised."

"Well..." she paused and gave me an apologetic smile. "Little things. Your body language. Not everyone would pick up on it, but if you're intuitive...there's subtle cues."


I don't have all the answers, which is fine provided I'm looking for them in an honest way. If there is any resolution I carry forward with me into the third year of my thirties, it is to walk and to think and to choose without fear. That has entailed some really uncomfortable moments, as when last week I spoke with my therapist about how my stepmother Marie treated me in childhood.

"She's been texting me," I told the doctor. "And I don't know how to respond. I haven't spoken with her in months, intentionally, and I know this is her way of trying but I have so much pain around her..."

"Why is that?"

The familiar red flags raised. That same old dread in my stomach, screaming at me to RUN AWAY FROM THIS THOUGHT. I fought through the fight-or-flight response and at last said what I've been dancing around with this therapist for literally months (and with myself for literally years): "Marie didn't have appropriate boundaries around us. She used to talk about our sexuality in these really explicit and degrading terms."

I still have a vivid memory of being eighteen and my stepmother counseling, in the cutting way she had, all the things I needed to do lest I "never get laid."

"It wasn't the only instance," I told Gender Therapist. "That particular time we had company over who heard the whole thing and...I was eighteen. To be sexualized at that age, by a parent no less, and then to be turned into a sexual object for appraisal. For strangers' amusement. It's like..." I started crying. "It was so dehumanizing. And it makes me really upset to remember."

The spectre of Marie has loomed like a boogeyman of shame in the back of my mind. Now I know she's there. Now I can work on banishing her. Confronting her presence, and the way it's tied up in my issues around intimacy and unhealthy coping mechanisms, is one of those things I found too frightening to do in my twenties. But fear-based decisions are wrong decisions.


The solutions are seldom easy, but they are sometimes funny.

"I think I need to be more of a ho," I mentioned.

"From a clinical perspective, I'd have to agree," confirmed Gender Therapist.

I've never really experienced male sexuality, you see; other than a few abortive and unpleasant encounters spread over about a decade, I'd never had a sexual partner until Gavril in 2018, and Gender Therapist and I both feel that I would be remiss to undertake something as huge as transition without knowing exactly what I'd be walking away from. There's always going to be a girl living in this head of mine. But is she splitting the rent with a boy? And might I be able to find happiness in gay manhood? I'm doing my level best to get to the bottom of it (giggity), trawling dating and kink sites and, again, casting fear (though not caution) aside.

"I love it," Black Dress Girl said. "Let the freak flag fly. This is exactly what you need."

This new online presence has resulted, to my surprise, in a consistent stream of messages from college-aged gay men who tell me I'm beautiful and generally express a desire to see me unclothed. This is something I feel I should be bothered by but I can't quite get myself across the line of caring.

"I felt really bad about it at first," I confided to Black Dress Girl by phone. "A lot of these guys are like ten years younger than me. I mean, it's not like I'm lying about my age; I have my photo online and people just make assumptions. I always correct them. But then I'm like, 'I can't do this. I'm too old. It's wrong.' And finally I just snapped. I was like, 'Why can't I do this? Why is my entire life me telling myself all the things I'm not allowed to do?' He wants it and I want it, too, but I'm in denial about wanting it because I feel like I shouldn't want it. And at some point it's like, 'For fuck's sake.' If he thinks I'm hot and I think he's hot and everyone is going in eyes wide open...I just want to get laid."

"Well, when you actually were that age you didn't get to have those carefree experiences," she reasoned. "Because you just had so much going on. And they're talking to you because they find you attractive. So as long as you're not leading them into thinking you're going to have a relationship or anything...like, everyone is a consenting adult. If they know it's just sex, what's the issue?"

All of which could wind up being hypothetical, by the way. But giving myself permission to bang a twenty-one-year-old for the sheer joy of a good shagging, and, what's more, being open to that joy absent the need for a relationship, is a step I never thought I'd take. The idea of sex as a fun and pleasurable experience? Something that isn't terrifying? Who knew?


First do no harm. Always. But I'm tired of apologizing and of self-denial. I want to live.

I'm leaving Point Goldlace next month and not coming back, because I know that I deserve better than the opportunities and the treatment I'm getting here. I'm interviewing, at some point when quarantine restrictions are lifted, for a job with an international organization that would require me to live on a semi-permanent basis outside of the U.S. And I'm moving in August to a different part of Alaska  where I'll once again be the new person in town. All of these are scary things and in each case it would have been easier and less anxiety-provoking to just maintain the status quo. But fear-based decisions are wrong decisions.

I'm making plans and backup plans, as I always do. This summer, if the service that provides it isn't shuttered due to contagion concerns, I'll be taking classical voice lessons through a university in Southern State. I've wanted to for years and...why not? Singing is pure joy. I've taken to posting audio in online voice forums where I've learned, among other things, that I am in fact considered not a baritone but a lyric tenor. Go figure.

At thirty-two I want to push further from fear and pull closer to my happy place, wherever that is. And whoever I am as I arrive there.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Twelve Years


Has twelve years ever been so vast? The world in which this blog started, on April 7, 2008, by and large no longer exists. That spring, we were in the midst of a conventional presidential primary process ahead of an election that, the 2008 financial crisis still being months away, seemed competitive. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were holding substantive debates to determine which of them would carry the Democratic standard. Schools and businesses and government offices were open. People walked the streets. The stock market hummed along. I was all of nineteen.

That boy vanished, alongside the rest. Though maybe he's still around in spirit. And twelve years later we're living in a reality that has, across many dimensions, defied expectations of what seemed plausible. At moments it feels like the plot of a science-fiction movie, doesn't it? Or maybe an especially exhausting political thriller.

But thirteen years will come, and then fourteen, and then fifteen, and at some point we'll go back to "normal," hopefully a version of normal informed by the shortcomings this crisis exposed (though increasingly I have little hope my countrymen operate in a learning-from-mistakes kind of way).

In the meantime, I'm still BB, a thirty-one-year-old teacher living in Alaska and plotting his next move. I didn't do one of these last year--life, as it will, got in the way--so it would seem some updates are required.

My father David and stepmother Marie live on the East Coast and have both remarried since their divorce in 2014. My birth-mother, Anne, is there as well, as are all my siblings: twenty-four-year-old Thomas, a college student who's earned straight As every semester while pursuing a certificate in the medical field; sixteen-year-old Pie, a high school junior who's not so little anymore and now has a license; and thirty-year-old Powell, who's recently moved into a larger home with his girlfriend of several years. 

Whether I'll see them this summer, whether that's safe, is still up in the air. This year has already thrown many unexpected twists my way, and like everyone else I'm waiting to see what happens. Here's how it's been so far:

April 2019: Shortly after a signing a contract to remain one more year in Point Goldlace, I turn 31 years old.

May 2019: I depart Point Goldlace for the East Coast, where happy reunions with my grandmother and friends occur.

June 2019: Off to Russia, where new friends and experiences abound during my three weeks living in a Moscow flat and attending Russian-language classes at a university in the city.

July 2019: Back to the U.S. at month's end, where some precious weeks of summer yet remain.

August 2019: I return to Point Goldlace for a second consecutive school year (the first time I've ever been a returning teacher anywhere).

September 2019: Considerations of gender weigh heavily, and I confront the fact that I am very likely transgender.

October 2019: I begin seeing a gender therapist to help me sort through feelings on identity, sexuality, and gender, all of which proves a great deal more nuanced than expected. The nuance is tough, but confronting it is helpful. In Aurora City, I begin the application process for a non-education job I've wanted a very long time.

November 2019: As a second Thanksgiving in Point Goldlace rolls around, I am forced into honest reflection on my ability to remain in this community.

December 2019: A bid to save money results in my spending Christmas in Iceport, but what could have been a gloomy holiday is brightened up by the presence of Wise Woman and Miss Violet, both of whom travel from within Alaska to spend time with me at an Airbnb in the city.

January 2020: The Twenties begin, and with them come the first vague reports of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness in China. Three days after the New Year, I receive an e-mail telling me I've been invited to an in-person job interview on the East Coast.

February 2020: I make the difficult decision that I will not return to Point Goldlace after the end of the current school year. I begin an active search for employment.

March 2020: I sign a contract with a new school district despite an offer of renewal for a third year from Point Goldlace. The world shuts down, and my East Coast interview is postponed for the time being.

A year from now, I hope we're safer. Healthier. Wiser. And I wish you all a renewing spring.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

On Hold


I was supposed to be on a plane headed to the East Coast when it happened. First it was a few deaths at a nursing home in Seattle. Then the emergence of some cases in New York. Then local hospitals filled to capacity. New clusters emerging every day. One state after another, including Alaska, shuttering its schools and directing teachers to work from home. The shelter-in-place order, which seemed radical in the moment, coming in California, then in New York, then in Illinois. Over the weekend we got our own such mandate up here in the Arctic.

The preceding several weeks had seen me managing job applications and interviews, some within education and some without, and I was preparing for easily the most important meeting of my life when an e-mail from the employer appeared on my smartphone screen. For the safety of the applicants, interviews had been postponed indefinitely, but everyone who had earned a slot would still retain it for when things returned to normal. Whenever that was.

I'd already taken leave from work for a trip that wasn't going to happen, so I called my boss, cancelled the time off, and enjoyed an unscheduled spring break in Aurora City, eating sushi and ordering coffee and watching free cable TV as the news from the outside world grew ever more ominous. More than once, I looked out from my top-floor hotel suite and wondered if the virus was already moving in the streets below me. Each day delivered a news item that managed to make me cry.

And when I returned to Point Goldlace, it wasn't to a regular work environment after all; it was to a two-week quarantine, under the terms of which I'm still housebound. I expected to resume my regular schedule on April 6, but today came word that we'd be permitted to perform our duties remotely, reporting to school perhaps once a week to print necessary items.

As to what the next couple of months of my life looks like, I honestly don't know. The dirty secret of education right now is that the actual amount of things we can do without students is limited, and all of us are essentially just putting together substitute plans. The work of an entire week takes me an hour or two, and after that "working from home" means a lot of Internet and a lot of reading. Is this supposed to be how we exist until the end of May? And what comes then? Do I fly home to a diseased East Coast? Do I visit family? Is that even safe? What does a summer look like without freedom?

I'm leaving Point Goldlace at the end of this school year, but haven't yet informed our district administration. It's another one of those things that's fallen by the wayside in light of everything falling by the wayside.

I hope you're all healthy and safe. And I hope it all comes out right.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

In Brightness and Shadow


Wishing you all a happy dawn to the decade. May we each find our best selves in the Twenties now begun.