Everything Tries To Be Round

Kindergarteners break my heart.

So do 8th-graders.

My work this week ranged from grades K through 8 and included their teachers. I am privileged -- I know I am -- to do the work that I do. I learn so much... I wish I had words tonight to convey this, but I am too tired, coming home, finally... coming home and tumbling into my own welcoming, wonderful, warm bed. Oooo, look at all those adjectives. Well-placed, every one.

Tomorrow, I go back to work finishing the new novel -- I'll send you updates this week -- and I will delight in the fact that it's almost done, it is!

Because the Christmas season is upon us, I'm thinking about Black Elk today, the famous Medicine Man of the Oglala Lakota Sioux. Black Elk was a cousin of Crazy Horse. He participated in the Battle of Little Big Horn (at age 12!), and he was injured at Wounded Knee.

Why would I think about him at Christmas? Because, years ago, in the days when I actually sent out Christmas cards, I bought some cards with a snowman on the front and a saying of Black Elk on the inside. I bought them because the saying was so unusual, and it struck me as so insightful. Here it is:

"The world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round."


I talk about circles ad nauseum in schools; I tell students about beginnings, middles, and ends. I tell them that their very breaths are circles never to be repeated. Then we take breaths together, in that yoga-of-writing pose. I am convinced that not only are stories circles, so are we. So are the seasons, the years, the moments, the everything. What goes around comes around, and this thought, this belief, sustains me. Everything tries to be round.

I bought these odd Christmas cards years ago because I sensed they said something important, although I couldn't, for the life of me, put words around it and explain it to anyone. Today I'm only a bit more advanced toward understanding the saying on these cards, but I have to say that I'm much more convinced that it is oh-so-true.

The world always works in circles and everything tries to be round. Including Kindergarteners and 8th-graders.


1 comment:

  1. Looking at my stomach, I'd have to agree about things wanting to be round.


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