It is a universe of edges

Classes begin on Monday, but to all intents and purposes, summer ends today for me ~ “non optional” staff meetings and convocation this afternoon, where we will meet the new TAs and be reminded of all the old “resources at your disposal” etc. etc.

I’m not ready for summer to end. I haven’t been since summer started and that, literally, seems like it was only last week. Don’t tell me time moves at a consistent pace. Pffft.

I didn’t get to visit “my” piece of New England coast (specifically, Cape Cod) this summer ~ too many other things got in the way, and who knows, the year isn’t yet over ~ but the summer is, and I feel the sharpness of the line of demarcation between then/summer and now/fall in the beginning of this school year.

I don’t like to start the semester tired of it already, and intellectually, I know when I get into the classroom, I’ll be fine ~ we’ll have fun, the students and I, they’ll learn what I have to teach them and teach me something new, as well. They always do.

But the line of demarcation between the two ~ the classroom me and the inside me ~ resists the blending and blurring this year for some reason, and it is the beginning, this time, rather than the end, that is bittersweet.

Breathe deep the flammable aroma of scrub pine air
Of brine, sweet beach rose, fishy pier, surf-tangled hair.
It is a universe of edges–nothing
marginal mind you–a place
to sink toes into two worlds at once:
beach grass, skittish marsh
water, wharf        sand wave
light and shadow.
Coming across the river and beach,
even the rain falls
in a straight, steady, discernible stroke.

It is not enough to mind the shifting lines,
to focus so hard on the edge
that separates until it all blurs,
but sometimes it’s all we have to make us whole.

–Jessica Bane Robert
from “Where Margins Blur” (for Teddy)
Scarred Seasons
available at

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