I Believe #sol15 Day 31


I began the Slice of Life Challenge a month ago with a poem, "Where I'm From."  This has been a transformative month in so many ways and I wanted to end with things I've come to believe.  I've been reading Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming and I know she has a part near the end where says what she believes.  I remembered the song I sang in elementary school chorus, "I Believe" and listened to it for inspiration before composing my poem.  You can hear the song in the link below.  

Thank you so much for this chance to write, share, read, and connect with a community that I've come to love.  I've appreciated the comments and kindness so very much and look forward to slicing with you on Tuesdays.  Without further ado, I Believe... 


I believe in books.
I believe in picture books and chapter books
Books of facts and books of quotes.
I believe in the power of a book
to make us laugh, cry, question, wonder.
I believe books will take us to magical places 
far away, inside ourselves.

I believe in libraries.
 Halls of endless books and knowledge
Open to anyone who comes to seek it.
Shelves and stacks
Wonder and possibility
available for all.

I believe in play.
I believe in pretending and imagining,
creating, building, 
cooking up plastic food 
coloring yellow suns with smiley faces.
Making mud pies in the dirt
Digging sand castles on the beach.

I believe in the helpers,
the ones Mr. Rogers talked about,
the ones who are always present 
in times of terror and despair.
I believe love wins,
even when it seems impossible
 to believe.

I believe that Martin Luther King Jr. 
was right when he said
"Intelligence plus character-
that is the goal
of true education."
I believe your character 
is who you are
when no else is watching.

I believe we all have gifts
and they aren't identical
aren't standardized
aren't common.
I believe in music and art
movement and dance
laughter and joy
I believe in making choices
 and taking chances.

I believe in writing.
I believe in picking up your pen
or firing up your iPad
and putting words to thoughts
memories on the page.
I believe writing 
helps you find yourself
and make sense of your world
know where you fit in
and where you never will.

I believe 
on the darkest days 
 absent of joy and laughter
chances and choice,
because you're a writer
you know who you've been,
you know who you are,
and you know 
no one, not any one 
can ever take away
what you believe. 





Comments

  1. Beautiful tribute to books, writing and living! I love the I Believe format and wrote one awhile back about my grandfather. I might have to do one about my granddaughter now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kim! I loved the format too. I think I have the Apostle's Creed from church so ingrained in my head that my poem had a similar cadence that I hadn't even planned! Would love to read your "I believe" about your granddaughter- so sweet.

      Delete
  2. Beautiful tribute to books, writing and living! I love the I Believe format and wrote one awhile back about my grandfather. I might have to do one about my granddaughter now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "I believe we all have gifts" has been so true this month! Your gift of words has shown on your pages every day! Beautiful poem!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You know it warmed my heart when I read books and libraries at the top of your list. I believe that literacy is at the heart of everything else you listed, for without it, we have a hard time communicating all the joys and wonders and heart-tuggings and anger and sadness. Even when literate, it's hard to communicate them sometimes--and that's what we all get better at through this challenge. It's been a pleasure slicing with you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew it would, Chris! Librarians are the best! Kind of wish I was one. Great point about literacy being at the heart of it all- so much more the reason why why should teach kids to become readers and writers and thinkers. It has also been a pleasure to read your slices and your comments! They meant a lot.

      Delete
  5. Your tribute to books connects to me. This is a great poem. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a wonderful declaration in so many ways! Of course, the message of literacy rings out like a clarion call. But beyond that, the message of conviction; of knowing what you know, because you have reflected. You have constructed. You have edited and corrected, until your powerful beliefs emerged into sharp focus. Thank you for sharing this! I think it would make a wonderful poster to shine out in so many places!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Greg. For a long time, I doubted that my beliefs and convictions had merit since they seemed to clash with what I was being asked to do. I have come to see that my beliefs have been shaped by experience, what I've read and learned, and what I've discovered from talking and listening to other educators I respected. Writing has helped me reflect further and be more sure of what I know is true. I don't know it all at all- but I do believe in the power of books, libraries, helpers, character, and writing to become a better person and have a richer life.

      Delete
  7. It feels as if you wrote it for all the slicers, Kathleen. That last part, beautiful words as a mantra for living. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I believe that this is a community of believers which is why it is so successful, Despite the many problems in education today, slicers persevere in their dedication to their students, their profession and their belief in the power of writing to change lives, including their own. Thank you, Kathleen, for so many wonderful examples of how to express feelings with insight and carefully crafted posts. And thank you, again, for inviting me to be part of this community of believers.
    https://barbarasut.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-newly-retired-senior-citizen/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO true! This is a community of believers, of giving, generous, talented teachers and writers with busy lives and full hearts taking time to share with each other. So grateful to be here in this community with you Barbara!

      Delete
  9. That last stanza just took my breath away - see you on Tuesdays, Kathleen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for all your supportive comments, Tara! I look forward to slicing with you on Tuesdays!

      Delete
  10. That last stanza just took my breath away - see you on Tuesdays, Kathleen.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kathleen, your belief system is strong and well founded. It shines through so brightly in your powerful poetry. As your finale to the month of March, it is a stunning contribution.
    Thank you for all your efforts throughout this writing challenge. May you continue to thrive as a writer and poet. Slice on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "It is a stunning contribution." Wow. I think I can live the rest of my life on these words as well as the other kind words of fellow slicers whom I respect. Thank you so much for your encouragement. It has meant a great deal to me.

      Delete
  12. Kathleen, your belief system is strong and well founded. It shines through so brightly in your powerful poetry. As your finale to the month of March, it is a stunning contribution.
    Thank you for all your efforts throughout this writing challenge. May you continue to thrive as a writer and poet. Slice on...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful beliefs and wonderfully written. Your last line is what will stick with me - no one can take away what you believe. I hope you continue to write on Tuesdays and share your stories because I have enjoyed reading them this month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so kind of you Leigh Ann! I look forward to slicing on Tuesdays. It will feel so easy breezy after a month of writing each day! Yes, your beliefs define you and help you stay true to what you know is the right path. Thank you!

      Delete
  14. Your poem is beautiful. I am surprised that I only found your blog today. I will go back and browse your slices!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is beautiful, Kathleen. I'm so glad you picked up your pen and shared your words, thoughts and memories with us!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

#SOL16 Ditch the Dojo?

The Teacher I Used to Be #SOL17

Farewell Letter to Students #sol