Déjà Vu, All Over Again.

Thinking out loud…

Called back to teaching, in a pinch, for a good friend, I learned a few things about myself.

I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching.  After I retired, and then after my new hip, I wondered about stepping into the classroom again, maybe just once in a while.  Thinking about going back to teaching is one thing, actually doing it is quite another.  Reality check.   But I am oh so glad I got a chance to try it out once again, and know for sure that the decision I made two years ago was the right one.

It is a matter of energy and stamina.  It is also a matter of accepting my own limitations, as well as my own changing focus.  I heard myself saying to students, “trust yourself, trust your ideas, trust your instincts.”  Those words turned around and spoke to me.  “Don’t be afraid to play out your ideas, don’t be afraid to screw it up”.  I realized I have been afraid to listen to myself, really listen.

I have been trying to force myself to keep to the path I started many years ago—to be a quilt maker, to use the quilt as my artistic expression, my voice, when in my heart I knew that I had said “it” (whatever “it” was) with my last two quilts—

“Threadbare” and… 

“Weathering Out”

I have had my “say”.  I satisfied something elusive in those last two quilts.  The passion to speak in that form is no longer tugging at me.  I can’t be finished! I thought.  I still have good ideas!  But what I don’t have is the passion to sit down and do it.

I have been sad and puzzled about that, conflicted and troubled on one hand, and on the other hand, enjoying the heck out of my (mostly) unscheduled life.  I’ve been writing, and taking lots and lots of pictures.  I have been exploring my interests without trying to make them practical.  I have been savoring life—unfettered, spontaneously, quietly, consciously, and as responsibly as I can.  That I do have passion for.  I have time for that.  I am taking my time.

So I will “cut myself some slack”, trust my instincts, and see where this leads me—playing  it out, trusting that it is the right path, mistakes, missteps and all, right now.

As I fly home across this country I am listening….really listening.

And to all the students I have ever had, I send my heartfelt thanks.


10 thoughts on “Déjà Vu, All Over Again.”

  1. Well said. Retirement is wonderful. You don’t have to be isolated, sometimes it is just good to be isolated. Other times you can reach out to any one of your students/peers/admirers. Such a path of friends you have made – they will always be in your heart. I am so glad we got to walk along that path together for a time. Peace Cynthia! Love xox R

  2. Was so jealous that people were able to be in a class with again. You were and always will be a favorite teacher of mine and I consider myself lucky to have had classes with you. I also understand how you are feeling and sending love and hugs for you to follow your path. I always have the great work that I created with you.
    XOXO Judy

  3. There’s so much to absorb in that one deep, eloquent post – too much to properly comment on here. So for now, I will simply say thank-you from the depths of my heart. You have been an inspiration to me from the very first class and you will always be. You have taught me profound things, practical things, playful things (certain exercises still make me both wince and giggle). I still haven’t fully explored the potential impacts of all those lessons and, boy, I need to explore further because I know they are teeming with artistic possibilities. While I am saddened that there won’t be more Cynthia classes, I am entirely looking forward to seeing what comes from your savoring and listening. Love and hugs to you dear Cynthia.

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