School Terribly Wonderful

Transparent blue liquid bubbles in a slim beaker gradually formed an electric azul crystal that I gently placed on my bedroom shelf.

Ms. Papadopoulos taught history of the ancient Mediterranean—her ancestral backyard—passing it on through modern day stories from European cafes.
A world of history
Stories flowing from past to present.

The desire was growing
A longing
To know the world, to interact, to share stories together.
To be a lifelong learner.

Like that day up in the Tibetan mountains, running along the grass plains next to the yaks. Millennia upon millennia of history that I hadn’t read about in school.

School
So far beyond the books and beyond the tests
Which, at best, make us robots and numbers,
And always make me cringe.
I don’t value them. I value you, your story, you, just you, without the numbers, letters or titles.

They were many, the days in the classrooms, often grey and fog-tinged, when those of us with restless bodies longed to stretch out into the world, to go beyond.

To stand up and read
The world
Like a book full of vibrant life, dangerously real.
Adventures to be had, sights to walk and stories to experience.
Life dug up like archeological fragments, shared history.

And I find myself longing for more.
Out on some grassy hill looking to sea
Or beyond a mountain peak
Knowing that I learned what I loved.

And I loved to learn.

 

Words & Photo (of a friend’s bookshelf) by Jonathan McCallum