My Musings – School
“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” ~ Og Mandino
I have always felt this time of year was tinged with anticipation. Even before I was old enough to go to school, I would watch my three older sisters go through the requisite back-to-school routines – shopping for clothes and school supplies. Freshly sharpened pencils and sparkling white Keds are what I remember most. They both hold so much possibility. What stories and adventures will they bring forth as they slowly become worn down, scuffed up, wittled, and stained?
Growing up, back to school also meant back to football. We lived in a small southern town where football was more than a sport, it was a way of life. As summer drew to a close, the cheerleaders, drill team and marching band would begin their daily practices in preparation for soon to come half-time shows and pep rallies. I could hear the drums from our house on Myrtle Street. They vibrated deep inside my heart. In high school, I twirled the baton to the beat of those drums. Sometimes I even twirled fire. I felt vibrant and alive with possibility.
These days, I am getting my own children ready to go back to school, yet I still feel that same sense of excitement. It’s funny to think of myself as the grown up now. What does “grown up” mean anyway? It sounds so final. Personally, I like to think of myself as a “growing up.” I know that I still have many lessons ahead of me, many teachers to seek out, many stories and adventures to bring forth. I know that I am still a student with questions to ask and new things to learn. I know that my life still holds unimaginable possibility.
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
Just this past weekend, I spent 3 days at Muse Camp soaking up the wisdom of teachers like Marianne Elliott, Melody Moore, Lauren Fleshman, Jay Fields Lisa Rueff, Cynthia LaRoche, and others including my twelve year old daughter Caroline Stuermer. I returned to my beginner’s mind. It was such a sweet reminder that we must keep growing up, expanding, reaching beyond what is known to us. It also reminded me that there are teachers everywhere. In every given moment, there is a lesson for us to learn or relearn. During a writing workshop, Marianne shared this beautiful poem by William Stafford:
When I Met My Muse
I glanced at her and took my glasses
off–they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. “I am your own
way of looking at things,” she said. “When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation.” And I took her hand.
This month, we will be asking our muses – artists, athletes, mothers, daughters, happiness coaches, and more – to share their own way of looking at things with us, to consider what lessons they have learned, what lessons they are still learning, who their greatest teachers have been, and what they know to be true. Be sure to peak under each of our topic section to discover treasures from these wise, witty, authentic, real women.
We will honor the teacher, the student, and the muse in each of us. Are you ready to go back to school? I can almost hear the drums….can you? Take off your glasses, grab your muse by the hand, and let’s dance.
We’d love to hear your stories too. Muse Magazine is inspired by and for you.