To Teach


bird on a wire in the desert

My next Haven Retreat is a rare event in Boston after the MA Conference for Women. If you seek a deeper relationship with your creative self-expression…come!  Here’s the info.

I had a personal day today. I wrote. I rode a bike around Tubac, Arizona where I just lead a Haven retreat. I took photographs. I looked at light and breathed deep. Here’s something that came in on the desert wind:


To teach is to listen for heart language
And to let people know that they have a pulse.
Or to remind them.
Sometimes to convince them.

To teach is to aid and abet the vivid “yes”
And the vivid “no”
And to call the troops off the battlefield
At least for the observance of Sunday supper.

To teach is to see past windows of eyes
Into souls
And be a curator with hands behind you
Not touching the painting
But seeing its meaning
Feeling the waves of the oil-brushed tempest against the dinghy
Smelling the salt air
And the breath of the painter
Knowing, if you were to point,
Exactly where her tear dropped
Into that salt sea.

To teach is to push a cart up a steep hill.
And have a line of people who believe in your brawn and compass.
And feet’s familiarity with the ground.
And to have people fall out of line.
Turn back.
Come in front of you and push against the cart.
Until you show them a better place to push.

You say, “Thank you.”  

You feel a wordless joy.

And you weep a little.
But only inside.

You have a cart to push.
And you are tired.
And your muscles are in question.
And your sense of direction.
And you can never remember on which hilltop stands:
The Bo Tree
That mount.

You are a student.
You know where it is.
You just need reminding.


Filed under A Place For Writers To Share, My Posts

4 Responses to To Teach

  1. Kathy

    To Learn

    Find the person who possesses the wisdom that you seek
    And may they hold more than knowledge
    May they hold your heart

    In the silence that lies between insurmountable fear and enthusiastic joy
    You pray
    You pray that the teacher provides the air that you need to breathe
    And in a tense moment she holds your gaze and you release
    Her compassionate smile is the air that your seek
    It turns your smoldering creative embers to raging flames

    Hers is the hand of a willing tango partner
    With fingers intertwined
    Flesh against flesh
    Pen to paper
    Fingers to the keyboard
    In unison, the movement begins
    Confidence and confusion meld together
    Back straight, thoughts clear, ideas affirmed
    A dip
    A reflection
    A swirl
    A revelation

    The teacher guides your moves
    She encourages your thoughts

    The student listens, observes and absorbs
    With passion the teacher has given her all
    In that sacred place she has held the space for you to discover and create
    And all the while she has held your heart while you did so
    Etched in the students soul is immeasurable gratitude for the teacher, her lessons and her love.

  2. Jan Myhre

    Laura, both you and Kathy have the souls of poets. Both are teacher/learner. Both are writers. It’s a lovely state of being. For creative folk to be in relationship is to be in a sacred place, a place of teaching and learning. I am so grateful to be part of this community of give and take. Blessing on both of you and all who walk the way of the writer.

  3. Thanks for a wonderful time in Tubac.
    As a fomer teacher, thank both you, Laura, and Kathy for such nice beliefs about us. Certainly there was a cart to push, and joy when a child learned.
    As a former Haven member, I thank you all for your teaching and sharing. Each differing point of view was inspiration.

  4. I feel bathed, again, with the power of words and the love behind them, through them, and in them.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Light and love to you.

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