April 2, 2010
Last night, after a beautiful Maundy Thursday service in Chelsea, I ambled through the serene neighborhood with a sense of great hope and excitement. Easter tends to do that. After a long cold winter, Spring calls forth that which has appeared lifeless. EVERYTHING is made new again. There is beauty everywhere. What once appeared lifeless is singing the song of renewal.
Only one block from the church sits a school, PS 11.
PS 11, whose mission speaks of kindness, gentleness, and self-control. PS 11, whose walls got to eavesdrop on a hero teacher as she taught every day. PS 11, with it’s red door and painted pictures.
. . . Where I have an interview this Wednesday.
Out of curiosity and excitement, I decided to have a look. (Think “tearing at the corner of a Christmas present before you’re supposed to open it” type of look.) My walking breaks into a -let’s be honest-skip until the school enters my view. I slow down.. is that it?! That’s IT. My eyes can’t keep up. Red door, words, pictures, quotes, steps, enormous windows, trees, brownstones… I do the only thing I know to do in situations like this. I squeal. I am almost 30, and I squeal at red doors to school buildings. If you were me, you would too.
I could now go into a long tangent of thought about how I’m always afraid to want something too badly or how if I like something too much, it will end not so happily-ever-after. But tonight, that isn’t the truth of the moment. At least right now. As I learn more about memoir, I learn that it is about truth. The truth of this moment is that after my grown-up, middle-of-the-street squealing, just before I could begin all my doubting, a dear best friend (who was with me all along) pulled me up to the big red doors. She put her hand on it, looked up with a gigantic smile, and she prayed for PS 11. Prayed! (?!) She prayed for the kids, the artists and writers and dreamers they are; that they would be the grownups that shape our world into a better place.
Then, my heart and I took a deep breath of hope, and walked away into the night.
* Note: I am absolutely terrified that I have begun to want this too much.
Endnote: It’s now May. I had the interview. I saw the inside of the school-the magic behind the red doors. The truth is, I tried very hard to make it be the place I wanted it to be. But it wasn’t. Turns out, there are other P.S. Somewheres that are calling my name.. and my heart toward a new home.