By ice rivers
Everybody is looking to learn something. Some people are searching to learn everything. To those searching for everything, I have this advice. Start with something. Get a handhold and a foothold on a boulder. Climb.
Leave Mount Everest for awhile.
If you're looking to learn something, you're ready to begin. A school is an excellent place to find a teacher. Everybody likes to learn but not everybody likes to be taught
I was a teacher who was occasionally found.
This brings me to Adrien.
Adrien was looking for a lot, maybe too much. He hadn't found it during the school year. That's where I enter the picture. I taught summer school. I was full time teacher in that I didn't take summers off. I went right from September to September for 25 years. I particularly enjoyed teaching summer school. Summer school was the time for second chances. Summer school was an opportunity for the alienated to connect. The alienated are my peeps.
Adrien had flunked Science, Math and English and he was on the way to drop out land, a very risky place in America.
I recognized the untapped intelligence that shone through Adrien's dark eyes. He realized that I recognized the glow and with that, we connected. He activated. BAM. We were on our way.
Adrien got an A in English that summer. He went on to high school but that didn't go well. In high school, we throw a smattering of possibilities at the kids...we don't necesarilly ask them to search. Students like Adrien need to search.
I lost touch with Adrien for awhile until one day, he came back to the middle school where I was teaching. He brought some of his writing along with him. He wanted to know if I would read it.
I read it. I enjoyed it. Adrien was activated but still not validated.
His poems and short stories glistened with unrefined beauty that inspired and challenged me.
I had recently been recognized by the Crossing Press as an outstanding new Canadian/American writer. I was completing my graduate school requirements with a concentration in writing. I had a mentor who kept allowing me elective credits. I would take my writing to him. He would look at it and make cryptic comments like "yes" or "no" or "almost" or just a look of disappointment or approval.
He gave me the opinion that I was writing as well as anybody but also suggested "good luck with it" because breaking through to the public was a crap shoot. Don't quit your day job. I didn't much care about "breaking through". I was earning graduate credit. I was enjoying my work. I was glad that someone else enjoyed it as well.
My mentor had also helped Jim Morrison with his work before Jim became a Door.
I didn't know for sure if I was a writer who taught or a teacher who wrote.
I made the decision that I would be a teacher who wrote.
I recognized in Adrien's work that somehow this kid who was dropping out, was writing at a level far beyond the level that I wrote when I was his age. Hell, he and I were on the same wave length.
I never knew when he would drop by to visit me but I was always available when he did.
I didn't overly praise him. I read his work. He read mine. We talked about what we had written which was always something about everything. Sometimes, Adrien would go for everything in his work and leave the something behind. I would call him on this tendency. Adrien had been activated and validated through our connection. I figured he needed some invigoration so I channeled the attitude of my mentor when we would meet.
Adrien needed to increase his reading in order to gain a fuller appreciation of not only his work but the giants who had come before him. We started to venture into literature. I gave Adrien suggestions of writers who had influenced me. Whenever he would drop in, he would let me know what writers he had been reading.
One day, he asked me about books that scared me. I mentioned A Separate Peace by John Knowles and Damien by Herman Hesse.
The next time that Adrien dropped in he astonished me by revealing that he had taken the Hesse journey not only with Damien but also with Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. The books had a profound effect on Adrian. He had found inspiration. Inspiration along with activation, validation and invigoration are the keys not only to appreciation but also to change.
It's possible to change without improving but impossible to improve without changing.
I noticed a change in Adrian, in his behavior and in his writing. I could tell he was heading for the turmoil of awakening. He found that turmoil in spades. He learned from it.
I didn't see much of Adrian for the next 10 years or so. The next time that I saw him, he had opened a used book store near the high school. By this time Adrien had left school, married and manifested his blazing intelligence in many areas, including carpentry and cooking but always carrying a full load of Hesse with him. His book store and coffee shop which went through a couple of incarnations and became an oasis of local culture. His open mic nights provided an outlet for budding artists like Genesee Johnny and many others.
I used to stop into his coffee shop as I began looking for something and could count on finding it at Blue Sunday.
Then one day, Adrien disappeared and Blue Sunday closed down. Adrien was looking for everything again. He disappeared from my radar but continued to suffer his way through the usual temptations and sidetrips, making the most of his pain and addictions.
He survived as did his marriage to his wife Shelly who also had been one of my students
We reconnected on Facebook. I began to catch up with him and him with me.
Adrien had become an author, a teacher and a well know, highly respected spritual advisor.
Adrien's last name is Fiorucci. You may have heard of him. If you haven't check him out on Amazon. If you find his books or if his books find you, they will deliver something to you depending upon what you're looking fo find.
Don't expect everything.
In his latest lecture, he speaks of inspiration and was kind enough to mention my influence in his lesson. https://www.whatsrealwaf.com/blog/how-to-stay-inspired-know-where-inspiration-comes-from?fbclid=IwAR2AZEDsBKjvebdGoTvKKFXDUvQRoR87vHxQTlSTyMBbEQ0iRcvjKz1rGM8
He found something and so did I.
I hope you will as well.
We can all use a handhold.