I’ve been coming down off my month long April POETRY celebration. Apparently it’s taken me just as long to recover as it did to celebrate all that poetry (See all of April's daily poetry blogs below)
May has certainly flew.
The problem, as I sit here on this warm May afternoon, is that now I don’t know what the heck to write about.
Without poetry to steady me, I feel a bit directionless. This seems to always happen to me once school is over and my grades are submitted.
I should be excited for all my free time to read and write, but that free time gets filled so quickly with bullshit. That bullshit morphs into this ugly beast that feeds off my time and so I come to, what should have been a very productive, an end of day with just the scraps and bones of my wasted good intentions.
I can’t let this happen to me again this summer.
This summer, unlike any other summer in my life, I am super aware of the importance of time.
I don’t have my sister to go visit and check on any longer since her passing in November. It was last summer when the cancer really started to keep her in bed more and more so there were great trips with pizzas and ice-creams and flowers and love and laughter to help ease the pain and stop the tears. Although my writing took a back seat, those were hours well spent. Those are hours I am grateful to have collected.
But now, this summer promises more time to me than I have ever had in the past 16 years or so. My son is 15 and will be involved with theater and his friends and maybe even a job. My husband’s demanding work hours will be the same. And so I will probably see more of the dog and the rabbit than I will of these two during the weeks. I also have no students contacting me or lessons to prepare or papers to grade.
Determined then— I am going to commit my time to writing and sending out pieces for contests and publication. I am going to use my time wisely.
Oh, that precious commodity “time” I will not let elude me.
As you may have noticed by my past blogs that my thoughts often swim right into the literature I have consumed in my life. These past reads help me surface my course.
THEREFORE, all this thinking about time as well as trying to write a play for a contest, I try to submit to every summer, reminds me of “Time Flies” by David Ives. You can buy the book here on http://www.amazon.com/Time-Flies-Other-Short-Plays/dp/080213758X (I need to now too. as I went to look for my own copy, i remembered I loaned it to my husband’s cousin a few summer’s ago. I guess he really liked it because he has not returned it.)
We read this play in the writing classes, I teach, often. It’s a fun play that always gets the attention of my students and has a great impact on them. I have been contacted a handful of times by past students who are now teachers themselves and want to share the play with their students —that’s impact.
Without giving too much away, the stars of this one-act play are two “lowly” mayflies who meet and fall in love. Time is of the essence here since our characters are “mayflies” therefore they have very short life spans. (I would like to digress here and address those haters who say English is a fluff discipline because I, as an English teacher, and many, who are English majors, cannot help to have knowledge in many different areas because of the stories or poems or plays we are exposed to. If I never read this play, I would have no idea the life span, nor particularly care, of a mayfly. But I do have that knowledge now because I have read it and I do care for these two flies). The play is in one act so everything happens fast. The dialogue is funny and punny and the lesson is important. The lesson, a common one found in many of the best poems, stories, shows, wishes, prayers, hopes, dreams, and blogs (hey, like this one) is to just seize the day and enjoy life’s journey while you do. I have never seen this play performed on a stage, only in my classes. The days I welcome this play to my classes, are days I look forward to. I am never bored of this play. I find something new in it as I read or listen to it being read. For example, even as I write this blog and think of “Time Flies,” I think about the irony of these two mayflies wasting their short time watching TV and also needing the TV to tell them who they are. I have been thinking of putting myself on a limited TV diet this summer. That is just the type of bullshit that makes my time monster rear his ugly, hungry head. Like the Mayflies, I need to “fly to Paris” instead of watching Bravo. My version of getting to a romantic city, though, will be by just writing one up instead. I know that is also what my husband, son, and sister would want me to do—to not waste my time in this life. I will fear the frog just as the mayflies do. “Ribbit” — that’s A loud warning to get moving. So I go...“Bon Voyage.”
I hope you get moving and read the play as well. Let me know what you think by posting a comment.