Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sister Justitia and Mrs. Miller

I had all the conversations I ever felt I needed with my mother or my father , including on their death beds.

I was there for both of those occasions.

Those occasions , in both cases, for me, closed all accounts.

Except for dreams, I guess.

My dreams are replete with my parents and me in all sorts of surreal adventures. It is interesting that in those dreams I am always a full grown – perhaps senior, not to them, but old – adult, but they always are in charge,

But they never find fault and we always laugh a lot.

But they are in charge in laughably benign ways

Maybe that is why we laugh so much.

But that is not unique or special to me; that is just what we all must deal with in some form or other as we slide down the back hill of our lives.

What I regret, though, is that I can’t – somehow time-machine (that’s a verb) to Sister Justitia (and/or Mrs. Miller, my first year English Comp teacher at Portland State) and sit down and talk to them, and show them what I have written and tell them what I have seen, and tell them what I have thought.

After all once they were charged with teaching me to think in the first place.

And they did. Teach me to think.

If what I do is thinking, they can take responsibility.

And if it is what I do is thinking, they have had a great deal to do with what it is that it is.

Having done some thinking – therefore - I wish I could talk to them about it.

But life doesn’t seem to work that way.

Those people that you may have been astute enough, even when you were young and callow, to have known to have been having life changing influence on you seem to fade like old soldiers.

Mr. Holland, it seems, is a myth.

When you most would like to talk to those teachers that had the profound influence to contribute to that which you are they are gone. Or they are removed in some irretrievable manner.

At least they can’t be found.

I did know when I was under their spell, being pounded upon by them, that both of these women were anchors in the turbulent seas of whatever I might ever become, and that they were making possible – through their pounding on me to be better - that which I might ever become.

I even then knew that I had some responsibility in the outcome. But lucky for me they were there pounding.

I tried to find Mrs. Miller, if she could possibly be alive, when I self published Screen Saver.

PSU knew not of her.

But I did.

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