All those late nights — coming home after Free Minds class tired and ready to drop or energized and spilling over with stories and thoughts. I underestimated the impact of nighttime work back when I imagined myself in this job, back before I was married, back when what I most visualized about working in a humanities classroom with adults was Earl Shorris’s anecdote of the guy who called him up to say, “I thought to myself, ‘What would Socrates do?'” Still, the classroom is where the joy is. And driving home after most people have had dinner and put the kids to bed and settled in with the tv or a book or a laptop open to internet surfing has become second nature. Some nights I pause on the pathway to the house and look before I enter. In my 20s, before I could see the house and job and life where I’d land, I listened to a lot of Tori Amos. In one song, she trills, “Somebody leave the light on / Just in case I like the dancing / I can remember where I come from.” I’ve often felt like someone left the light on for me, welcoming me back after I’d wandered. And in this period of evening teaching I am ever grateful to pull into the driveway and find the porch lit, often Chris waiting inside, sometimes a bit of dinner still left for me on the stove.
March 24, 2015