Change Is A Sound
"In the eyes in the heart in the mind freedom starts/ with our youth still in our hands/ and an earthquake in our hearts."
I must've played those two records a hundred time through, trying to think of what to teach the next day or contemplating strategies for teaching cause-and-effect, or the not strangling of that colab partner who referenced her mother's teaching experience every 47.8 seconds. It became the soundtrack to this whole undertaking, this multi-dimensional development of the self as teacher.
"Your children are shooting up society/ because you make money making killing a commodity.... kill the stain inside our heads/ we live in defiance of empty time."
When I lived in the 408, it was at the end of a cul-de-sac, an everyday symbol of everything I never wanted and consciously avoided, a commute, a route, driving home and getting out of the car with something that was either a briefcase, a man-purse, or an androgynous teacher-bag slung under my arm. There was a T.V. with over 400 channels, a pile of work that never thinned, and the ever-present question of how I somehow let myself get suckered into all this.
"Out of the gate we're all quick to defend/ the sell out positions white-washed of content/ to our hearts discontent/ too afraid of our failures/ faith and future unknown/ do we dare and reach beyond it?"
I'd drive up into the hills that are now choked with shiny developments, high-end grocery stores, and 900-schools, but then were just broken ground and the promise of sprawl, going too fast and making silly U-turns. You get up there and you can see a long way, a spread of lights from one set of hills to another; and I'd leave the engine running and the stereo blasting and sit and rethink the day.
"From the tidal forces of our positions/ not won (not one!) to take for granted."
And tonight, after teaching, then coaching, then sitting through a useless Masters class that was once again poorly structured, poorly conceived, another episode of trying to nail jelly to the wall where I had to explain (again) why my face was (again) all smashed up, I tore up 280, down Chavez, over the train bridge on third, and out to where the street ends to see Strike Anywhere rip it up, grateful I could do this, still, after all the adultafying that's occurred, still feel comfortable in a beer-stink industrial warehouse in the middle of nowhere jumping around and throwing my fist into the air at all the right parts. It wasn't even an hour, but it was an antidote to the October malaise, and perhaps the more damaging year-five malaise, a creeping impatience with things we should be better at by now, the two-steps-forward, one-step-back progress, and this thing that when the kid doesn't get his book out on time, it doesn't feel like the first time this has happened, it feels like the 2,356th time -- cuz it is. I feel better now, sweating out some bile on that cement floor, my ears ringing, my shoulders sore: I'm gonna (re)sound the charge tomorrow, gonna lead us out of this no-skill wasteland, and the ones that won't come, I'm gonna climb into the bucket and drag em out, kicking and screaming.
"Did you promise the world that you'd change it?/ sounds like the way that I feel/ one brick thrown, one vote alone... we'll take back everything they steal."