Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back To School

Many lifetimes ago my mornings started in front of a chalkboard, a stack of photocopied assignments in hand and a conference table full of seventh graders blinking expectantly.  If you love what you do, then you don't forget a single face or a moment. To stand in front of a classroom, to remember what it means to be thirteen, to teach Romeo & Juliet - to introduce Shakespeare - to meet a student years later and understand that some bonds never fade - yes, sometimes I long for school again. All of it - even the rawness and the insecurities and the fragile, daily discoveries. Aidan knows a thing or two about what I am talking about. . .and she writes about it daily in what I sincerely believe is the best blog I have ever come across - I spend a lot of time online and this is truly a gem. You can lose yourself for hours at Ivy League Insecurities, and somehow not a single moment seems wasted.

I never taught Aidan, but her little sister was in my 7th grade homeroom class ten years ago - Dalton calls its homeroom "House" and there's genuine truth to it - sometimes it really does feel like family. I know that particular house became my family in the year mine fell apart.

But everything has a way of coming back together again - time is scotch-tape for the soul - really there's no substitute. Families, friendships, hearts - they all eventually do mend, and still the insecurities persist and we wonder if we did it right, if we could have done something differently, if this is really how it was all meant to unravel? What happens after we say, "Yes."

Aidan will be at Borders Bookstore on 57th and Park next Thursday at 7:00 p.m. to read and sign copies of her first novel. There is not a single book I want to read more - anyone who has ever taught a Donnelley knows they can write like the wind - they weren't all Bulldogs for nothin' - another lifetime ago I was there, too, but now instead of reading my book from the podium, I'll be reading Life After Yes  Do you have an amazing reading chair you could snuggle in for hours and read into the wee hours of the morning?

I love this one from Pottery Barn - a house is not a home until you have discovered your favorite reading spot. I call mine the cave and on lazy, rainy nights when I'm in my Back to A mood I can do some serious hibernating.

Aidan, life has been beautiful for me after Yes; an exposed heart is often the most tender.


Anonymous said...

You are right, and eventually everything does mend. As far as wondering about having done everything right, it seems to be programmed that we focus on events that never occurred assuming that certain unrealized outcomes would have led to happiness or at least a greater sense of life satisfaction. It’s important to focus on what is right in front of you rather that what is already over & out of your control. You will never truly know if your life would be better or worse had something different happened, all you know is that it is different, and simply in the past.

Anisha Lakhani said...

My favorite comment to date on Back to A. Thank you. You remind me of someone I know so well.

carlalaura said...

Oh, Anisha, I know this is not the point of your post, but Clay is now in seventh grade, reading R&J, and I can't help but remember when Teddy read it with you. Seems like yesterday. I had the same thought when the news about J.D. Salinger's death came out. How much I love Catcher, and how much Teddy got into it because of how it was taught (with John ?, I think ..). Carla xo

Anisha Lakhani said...

My dearest Carla, I think of Teddy more than you can imagine. He is forever young in my heart, forever kind, forever funny, forever sweet - the gentle giant I loved so and treasure always. Thank you for reading, thank you for writing, and I hope Clay loves Shakespeare like Teddy did. I even remember Teddy's prompt book. With all my love and respect, Anisha. xo

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