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People are constant works in progress, layering new atop old and depths and dimensions and splintering. Comprised of memories and pictures we could never guess at, no matter how long and hard and deep we probed. Can you remember your first teacher, way back when? Describe her hair. Tell me how she smelled.

In a preschool you remember to be careful with your words, with your language. You do not say shut up, not even to your coworkers. It is inappropriate. You do not say You are stupid, even if you are talking out loud to yourself. You never know what is going to stick to those minds, and I am not talking about what their parents will hear. I mean things that become part of their subconsciousness. Disrespect for others, disregard of self-worth. You would think this might be exaggerated but the gradients are so minute from one level to the next you do not want to upset any balances.

(This isn’t going to be about kids, and how impressionable they are. It is just a beginning.)

Do you remember your first rejection? Every rejection since then has been more and more withdrawal, more holding back in case you get hurt. (This isn’t it, either.) Your first role model – the first absolutely cool person you just had to be like. Your first major support, the one that propelled you forward by their mere presence and trust in you.

(This is it, right here.)

Right here in the knotted tension of my tired back is all of today, all of yesterday, and it is curled into a tight ball. You do not want to know where it comes from, but I can point to it, can point to old (leftover) disappointed pursed lips and defeated sighs. (I am not giving you negative now. Just showing how all things root themselves inside.)

Right here in the easy spilling freedom that I sometimes allow myself are all sorts of people that have made me believe I could do it. It is constant, this building upon self, this growing becoming, and I have had so many firm sure hands helping me climb all the way. What I am trying to give you here is something like a gift of Thank you.

(Maybe this is about kids, after all.)

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