Wednesday, September 27, 2006

NOW Is Already Gone

In third grade, we watched our teacher, Miss Fox, write the word NOW on the chalkboard in large letters.

Miss Fox was a large woman, not taller than 5 foot six, but probably 200 pounds. her body weighed heavily on her legs, and it seemed so contrasting to the fine, thinning divergence that was her dark auburn hair. At 8-years-old, I thought it was just weird old lady hair. Now I think back and realize she suffered severe hair loss.

Our Miss Fox had a large lap, like a grandma. The kind you’d want to sit in to listen to a story read aloud, but I don’t think anyone ever did. Miss Fox was very serious about making sure that we were learning. She wasn’t a hugger. She took to teaching as a calling. Everything she did, every word she said was an opportunity.

We didn’t know we were her last class ever. I think she might have known.

Even as an 8-year-old, I could sense her pain. Pain seemed to permeate her lower back, her walk, most anyway she sat. She didn’t stand much. She wore black, old lady nun shoes. Her legs were wrapped in elastic bands for support.

I suppose the pain is what made it all that so very important.

She told us that NOW is already gone − gone as soon as we say the word. That's what she said. She said we have to use every NOW as best we could, because NOW is so fast and so fleeting. She said that too. Miss Fox made clear that if we missed using NOW we couldn’t get it back. But, she said, if we always make the most of NOW, when we look back we would see WON.

Miss Fox died the summer after third grade. Our class was the honor guard at her funeral.

Her words about NOW, were her legacy. I often think about them.

−me strauss Letting me be

8 comments:

Tell No One said...

Liz,

Sad, lovely and true. From the smallest to the most moving, Now is all we have, and Now is what I forget so often. Tonight I am thankful for this moment..this Now.

Katrina

ME Strauss said...

Hello, Katrina,
She was an old woman, cranky at times, but I realize now she was also wise. I'm thankful too.

Dawn said...

It seems like maybe Miss Fox knew the preciousness and urgency of Now as Eternity drew near.

I think that the Truths that are most powerful for us at any given moment are the ones we try to speak and pass on to others in any way we can. We are all teachers and learners in that way.

ME Strauss said...

Wow Dawn, I does sem that way. Tha we are all trying pass on our most powerful truths. Some of us are trying to pass on learnings that are twisted or broken, but still what they are trying to pass is their truth.

michaelm said...

Beautiful words.
I'm sure Ms. Fox would be very happy to know you took the lesson to heart.

~michaelm

ME Strauss said...

Hi Michael,
I wonder. She would probably tell me to check my work again. Then to make sure I'm paying attention to what I should be doing now. :)

Thank you for your comment. :)

Cristina Melo said...

Here we have a portrait made by a writter, without need of a picture.




-It reminded what I used to say, with 6 years old, as I was always changing from school and teachers, if someone asked about my new teacher, I used to answer she was old ( beccause she was an she wasn´t young like the previous one ), and some humor alike this much more earlier... then I remind that I seem a sad person (????),and what a psichologist told about my humor... I conclude that, after all, I relize how difficult it must be to make a portrait of ourselves that would be so "real" as this one, for instance.

Cristina

ME Strauss said...

Hi christina,
I found I use humor in the same, because I don't want people to overweigh my words --to take too much truth from one sentence when people are so many things not just one thing, not just one idea. It's easier to describe someone who is so far gone because the impressions are the real ones and far fewer.