Saturday, February 18, 2012

(one essay in an 8th grade exam)- daydream

Last week my 8th graders were subject to a week of standardized testing. It brought me right back to sitting behind the desk with the black and white sheets in front of me, and all coherent thoughts leave me.

But as I looked over the test from the new perspective, of not having to take it, there were some interesting topics. One specifically caught my attention having to do with daydreaming. In the time the students answered their two essays, I wrote one especially since it had to be hand-written. Here it is:

In a daydream, I am lost in a pleasant space of nothingness. The temperature and feeling is just right albeit nondescript. It is a space I am both present yet at the same time absent. It is a lingering, a pause, a gap in time.

Within a rushed society, our run-around nature prevails--that continuous looking at the clock. Did we consciously construct this concept? Or is time slowly swallowing our inner nature wrapped in a daydream? The one that enjoys breath, the inhale and exhale with a pause in-between. Can just that be enough?

The daydream remembers. It remembers the desperate need for silence, inactivity, the breath. My daydream, at times brief, makes a substantial part of my reality, so much so that I call it my reality.

There are no particulars within each one, no recurring pattern. Patterns form from habit. In a daydream, particulars collapse the practice. It is a glimpse of colored thumbtacks, that are visual but also background. The focus is fuzzy. I am seeing and not labeling. I am in a state of in-between, a suspended mind.

My daydream has the feeling of meditation, a slowing down, a delicious void. It is where my eyes go to be still--a student's hand moving rhythmically across paper, a cross contrasted against a white shirt.

Time bends in these pauses or at least it is nonessential. The battle with the clock however is a hard one, as the ticking is continuous. Can the ticking clock become part of the dream? For now I choose to not own one and follow an inner rhythm.

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