I Have No Answers, But I Will Always Question

First of all, sorry for the long hiatus of blogged words.  I have been blogged down recently (ha!  Stupid pun intended) by work and grading and writing my novel which, please God, will be sent to the nibbled agent a year ago.

I read a poem by my beautiful friend Robert Okaji (you really have to read his poetry….and buy his book!!).  It was titled “I Have the Answers.”  And the jaded part of my brain that has been exercising full time recently immediately thought about how I have no answers.

I don’t.

I have no answers.  I have words of advice.  I have good thoughts and good ideas and some answers.  But I have no sense of the definite.  I can give some definitive answers to simplistic questions, like what is 1 plus 1?  I know that this is 2.  This will always be 2.

But I have no real answers.  My children are both growing and changing and I can’t go much further than that without breaking their privacy.  But they have both told me things that make me question.  These are not huge issues, things that are life changing, family disrupting.

But they are points that have made me pause, reflect.  Pray.  Wonder about my role as their parent and their guardian.  As a teacher.

Next week, my sophomores will take the PSAT.  They want me to tell them exactly what will be on the exam…which I don’t know.  I have given them the practice booklet, talked with them about practical vocabulary.  But I don’t know because I haven’t taken the PSAT in thirty years and my worries about the PSAT are negligible.  It will not affect their grades.  It will help them with enrolling in dual enrollment classes.

I have no answers.

I teach literature that is four hundred years old.  The language is rich and beautiful and archaic.  I don’t know all the contextual material behind all the words.  I don’t know Shakespeare’s stage directions.  I don’t know all the right answers to what he meant when he wrote Macbeth.  I can hazard a guess.

I have no answers.

I read the Bible searching for knowledge, but I read it before I fall asleep which means that I am not reading very well.

I have no answers.

I am posed with perplexing problems.  I am searching for a way to limit the amount of homework I assign to my gifted-and-talented students because they are completing at least four hours of homework per night in addition to attending and participating in after-school practices that last at least two to three hours.  And this doesn’t include the hours they spend at actual games and competitions.  My students are worn out because they spend at least six hours in school being intellectually stimulated.  They go to their extra-curricular activities for another three hours.  Stack on that four hours of homework in addition to showers, dinners, family time, church, and possible social time and my students are worn.  I want to fix this.  I want to take away their homework so they can breathe a little.  But I don’t know how to do this without losing the intellectual stimulation my students need to thrive.

I have no answers.

I try to balance grading with writing with family time with planning with exercise with running from appointment to appointment.  I try to give my son time to breathe because he is a slow reader and hates school because it has become an intellectual prison for him.  He wants to be independent but keeps on being thrust into my shadow.  My daughter is about to decide if she will apply for a specialty center and I ache that she might be rejected.  I don’t want my children to be hurt.  But pain creates growth which my children must do.  I can not create co-dependent children who have no real sense of independence because I cropped their wings.

I have no answers.

I have prayer requests.  I have dreams and aspirations.  I have hopes and goals and a bucket list literally written on the side of a bucket.  I have good intentions and good tries and good attempts.  I have done all that I can and will continue to do all that I can.

I have no answers.  I need the answers and also know that I don’t need the answers.  I need to understand that justice is blind.  She has no answers.  She is the answer.  She is the question.

Justice carries scales.  She bears a sword.  She faces the world without fear and with objectivity.  She sees nothing but knows everything.  She is Tierisias.

Don’t worry, dear friends.  I have no legal problems.  I am currently watching The West Wing and am musing on this idea about answers and no answers.  I read some beautiful poetry and was moved.

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