"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Circumnavigating the sun

A new semester brings fresh faces into the classroom, full of energy and questions.

The first day of class is the easiest of the term. The to-do list is detailed, the books and thoughts and words well-designed to provoke, challenge and intimidate.

Previous students know  what to expect and contribute to a unique community, because no class is ever alike. Each will develop its own personality--some vibrant, some subdued. The professor is primarily a guide, no longer a sole source of subject knowledge. Experiences  and wrinkles from living earn more respect.

A birthday slips by, a new circumnavigation starts
The days grow longer, the months and years shorter
Friends gather and memories multiply
Breathing deeply replaces short gasps.

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