© 2020 Drew T. Noll

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Freedom is a State of Mind...

Surf Chicken, oil on canvas, DTNoll © 2020 - 
My vacation was cut short by work. I was informed that I would need to cease and desist my online lessons, which did happen for a week, but I was then informed that I would need to continue again. Scrambling to aspire, I rose to it all, completing the additional week of lessons prepared and delivered to hungry minds via my laptop in my studio. With Surf Chicken on the wall behind, I spoke about reading, vocabulary, various grammar points, and did just fine. I had much help from a great staff of great people (teachers are like that, you know), and I smiled a lot while delivering my lectures to more than 150 young minds on the other end of a computer line. Even trapped inside, I have it really good, which I’m never really sure how to gauge, since I’m mostly always beating to a different drum, it seems. Is it okay to say I’m doing okay? Is it offensive to speak about it while others suffer decay? Sometimes I just don’t know what to say, so I don’t.

That is those silences you hear here, when I’m lost in chaos unfolding nothing from naught. Do we all experience such blanks in significant thought? Filling the voids with stories told by others? I loose myself further, quite often, creating more chaos to transcend; but, transcend I do always (thank God). I think of my students trying to grasp it with a world gone mad, and I find that I’m at a loss for words, much of the time—with nothing much said, I look into the horizon that I’m fortunate to see, and I begin again to write ... or paint … or draw. That’s what this is, you know, my process exposed. My legitimate flaw, thawing the life I carry on my shoulders, keeps creeping up and singing along with me. Sometimes it’s an echo, but real nevertheless, and because of my world being small, I struggle with righting it all; so, I don’t.

Or, maybe I do? At least I write it, sometimes. We are supposed to be asking questions right now, anyways. Plague has always been temporary in our histories, with grand out-comings blooming on the other side of seas splitting, on the other side of borders falling, and at the far reaches of our abilities to even understand where we are heading, and possibly … posthumously, where we began. One of my students delivered ice cream to my front door today. He was wearing the requisite facemask and gloves, and we stood miles apart while locking eyes in a knowing embrace. Ort, the school I work for, had contracted with my student’s father to deliver joy to their teachers, in a way that really made my day. Riches abound when least expected, as the mask-covered smiling face at my door attested. The struggle we face collectively is mute when confronted with astounding reality, as we can all endorse from our lives lived; and in the end all we can do is to try and fit an obtuse shoe onto a well-worn foot (at least in our own minds)—in the end, to lay it barely, all we can scarcely muster … is to say: I do.

חג שמח וברכות בצד השני, לכולם!