long quiet highway

Posted by Daniela Elza on Mar 20 2010

A mom on the school playground placed a book in my hands that I could not refuse. In fact, I thought it might be coming as a blessing to address some of this feeling of scattered that I have been feeling for a few weeks now. There is this itch to read something, and whatever I turn to does not seem to catch.

I thought it is too much of a coincidence that the book is by Natalie Goldberg, Long Quiet Highway: Waking up in America. After all Writing Down the Bones is the book I like to acknowledge as getting me going on my writing journey. Up to that point writing was sporadic, unpredictable, when it happened. After that book writing was a matter of discipline. A matter of inviting it everyday. Yes, you can discipline writing. No matter how capricious, finicky, stubborn it might seem.

I have not read too far into the book yet, but I would like to share three thoughts that struck me.

In the intro she says:

“Our life is the path of learning, to wake up before we die. This book is about that.”

and later she says:

“Our job is to wake up to everything, because if we slow down enough, we see we are everything.” (p. 20)

and finally, when she was in a highschool classroom in Taos, she said:

“The important thing is to love something, even if it is skateboarding or car mechanics or whistling. Let yourself love it completely.” (p.4)

I thought how amazing it will be if that was a vision school can embrace. Once we love something completely we do not need teacher or a parent to tell us to go do our homework. It becomes a self propelled journey that disciplines from within. A nurturing one at that.

Happy Spring.

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