Where’s Citizen Teacher?

Posted on November 12, 2020


Hello, dear reader. I must apologize for my continued absence and silence. Please accept my apology.

When I was a young child, my siblings were teens. It was the late sixties and early seventies, and my “Archie Bunker,” authoritarian father met his match with my two sisters, who resisted his authority regularly, leading to arguments, shouting, and violence. When he couldn’t shout them down, he’d beat them down.

During these turbulent and terrifying times, I sought safety in the corner of the living room, behind my father’s recliner chair.

That’s where I’ve been in my absence from this space–in a sense–behind the recliner.

Anxiety over the POTUS election, the ignorant and dangerous behaviors of community members regarding the pandemic resulting in skyrocketing infection numbers that threaten to overwhelm the health care system, and the sickening effects of researching and writing about racism and misogyny in public education combine to create a stew of stress.

In addition, death is knocking on the door of two who are dear to me, and I am grieving for their suffering and impending deaths.

I’ve been on a media fast. Not just social media. All news.

Before 45, I was an “NPR addict” and “news junky.” I used to love to listen to Morning Edition and All Things Considered, daily, and other shows when I could. But these last few years have driven me to severely limit my exposure to news, so I won’t be triggered by that voice. By the Friday before election day, I had to limit myself to 20 minutes per day. While I like to be informed, there is just SO much trouble that I am powerless to end, I just couldn’t listen anymore.

I needed SILENCE–or the soothing sounds of music. I needed to BE silent.

A few years back, my son, Cale, introduced me to the writing of John Francis, aka Planetwalker, who decided not to speak for 17 years…

Although I love silence, I don’t plan to make a long-term commitment to staying silent, especially now that my housemates have moved out, and I literally have no one to talk to except the dog, but sometimes I need the shelter of silence. It is there that I find healing.

In my absence from here, I considered writing a post every day, and as days passed, I started to encourage myself to try, but I just couldn’t do it. Most days, I wrote in my journal, but I just couldn’t formulate cohesive ideas to pursue here. I aim to get back to regular posts, but I’m setting a goal of M-W-F posts, as I coax myself back to the media-scape in measured doses.

I want to take a minute to say a huge THANK YOU to the reader friends who reached out to ask, “Are you okay?” in the last few days. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know that you care. I am okay; much improved for your kindnesses. THANK YOU. BIG LOVE to YOU.

To end on a positive note, I have been typing most of this post with BOTH hands, with lots of breaks, as I bring my left hand back “online” after breaking my wrist. I can also play drums with both hands now–albeit gently. Lucky for me, I love jazz and playing with brushes, so it’s all good.

I took my bike out for a maiden voyage two days ago and told myself, “Go straight to the library and right back. It’s your 1st time; you don’t want to over-do!”

But then it felt SO good to ride, so I took a dead end road, which led me to a disc-golf course in the woods, which led to me getting lost in the woods (which are LOVELY–and I saw many deer), which led to me coming out of the woods on a road somewhat further from home than I had planned….

SOOOOOOO typical, LOL!

I was sore AF yesterday from my adventure. But it was totally worth it, and I had NO idea there was such a great natural area so close to home. I can’t wait to go back!

lisa eddy is a writer-for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy

On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com