Thinking in Adages

I was named after a man my Dad was profoundly disappointed in, his father, Harry Welty.

There is it. After a couple hours of fervid thinking about anything and everything other than a memoir I woke up with a good first sentence for such a thing. I’m not sure of a second sentence to follow but it might be something like – I have lived with deep regret since his death thirty years ago that he left this world burdened with a profound disappointment in me too.

Although the second sentence is still in doubt that first one so naturally leads into a first chapter that it almost seems like a magic incantation. But I’m not here at my computer to write that chapter, let alone an autobiography. I feel immensely rested despite a mere four hours of sleep. I didn’t even toss and turn in the hours that followed. My mind simply raced from one potential post to the next. My dedicated readers will recognize this. War and Peace was a mere 560,000 words. It is dwarfed by this blog in verbiage if not content. This is my sanity. I pour some small portion of what’s on my mind in here to prevent me from hearing voices in my head.

Yesterday I thought of a good adage and, before forgetting, typed it into an email and pushed send to myseslf. This is it: “White lies are like clouds. Stack enough of them on top of each other and they won’t let any light in.” It could almost go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that recent events helped condense that bit of cumulus in my head.

In my first blog post yesterday I included about six titles for posts I wanted to write. I got to four or five of them. One had a list of miscellany that I didn’t get a round to blogging about. This morning has left me with a great many more among them, Why I didn’t check to see if my sister was OK after the Earthquake in Equador; An official record of how shot up my Grandfather was after WW I; How to keep Kansas sod from rotting when you are building a house; and this one – How Chair Harala and I are keeping it civil under our current duress. I’m sure the 375 readers this month who, according to my blog stats, spent over an hour reading my blog in a single sitting would like me to expound on that. In due course. In due course.

Yesterday I came closer to settling my future finances, raked the yard, worked into the night answering email and writing up what my church’s men’s club plans to do in the future for the Bulletin and joined my wife to watch the last 45 minutes of Some Like it Hot. What a funny movie that is and, for me, it keeps getting funnier. The host of TCM told an anecdote about it afterwards I found charming. Its director, Billy Wilder, screened it in front of 600 people who sat through it in stony silence except for one fellow who laughed all by himself all the way through it. The guy who laughed was one of my first television crushes, Steve Allen.

There, that does it. That’s all the stuff that kept me awake. Oh, except for mentioning that I will be spending Earth Day at Lakewood School reading Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax to first and second graders. That alone should make up for all the things I couldn’t stop thinking about while not tossing and turning – how I screwed up as a new teacher and disappointed my Dad on the eve of his death.

That was just one teacher’s travail. Now I feel like an entire school district’s fate hinges on how well I navigate the next few weeks – or years. As Jana Hollingsworth once told me: “It’s all about you.” Only, as far as ISD 709 is concerned, it really isn’t.

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