Wow. Lots of people have thoughts on Bentley, Mormon Douches, and the women who love them.
While it is sort of exciting to get lots of comments, it is also sort of intimidating. What do I say now? I feel like the wedding guest who chimed her glass at the reception, ready to give a speech, only to discover she has nothing more to say.
Or, as wife-beater-wearing commenter raysugarray so aptly stated: "I can't wait for all of this Bentley hype to dissipate so that this pathetic blog will go back to the depths of anonymity where it belongs."
Me too, ray, me too.
Then I realized that my career has already prepared me for this moment. Whenever I want to ensure that 90% of my students will stop listening to me, I bust out the poetry. And not the fun, rhyming, full of blood and guts and bleeding roses and angst poetry. (Teens love them some angst and bleeding roses.) Instead, I bring out the Creative-Writing major, hippie, in tune with your inner tree-hugger, poetry. Even better if said poem has no concrete point. I'm hoping that if I do the same thing on my blog as I occasionally do in my classroom, 90% of you (especially the trolls,) will stop listening. After all, to quote an oft used Bachelorette line, some of you (again, trolls) aren't here "for the right reasons."
I've been thinking about this poem a lot this past year, and especially towards the end of the school year, what with all the Graduation speech tryouts, and the school board telling students to PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE and FIX ALL THE PROBLEMS. I think it especially applies to my honors students, who have been overachieving for so long that the world must seem like one big AP Calculus exam. Plus, I just really like Mary Oliver.
So, without further ado:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Even if you aren't a hippie English teacher, don't you find the idea fascinating?
You do not have to be good.
I keep reminding myself of this every time a lesson plan flops, every time someone logs on to tell me about what a bad Mormon/person/feminist/woman I am, every time I find myself tempted to walk on my knees, repenting for having an opinion that someone else doesn't like. I do not have to be good. My body loves what it loves, and I have a place in the family of things.
That sound you hear? Hundreds of randoms hitting "unsubscribe" simultaneously.