C's bookshelf: read

The Peculiar
Maggot Moon
The City and the City
The Road
A Certain Slant of Light
The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer's Craft
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Brown Girl in the Ring
Well Wished
The Innkeeper's Song
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
American Indian Myths and Legends
The Left Hand of Darkness
The Return of the King
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers

C S Peterson's favorite books »

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sometimes Good, Sometimes Bad

Day 7 Slice of Life
The March Slice of Life Challenge-hosted by Ruth and Stacey,

Great Stuff!
Tweet at #Slice2013 

It is a day of small steps forward, 
small steps back
A day when I go from one thing to the next, sure I’m forgetting something
I plan a chemistry magic show, 
bring a student to meet with a sci-fi author
a student frustrated with algebra
two students want to study the middle ages
we will go to the cathedral and the art museum
a student with missing assignments who’d rather not see me
I can’t get the swordfighting instructor to call me back
math placements for next year - nothing is neat or easy

I sit to talk with a young student as she works out what it is she wants to learn next.  She knows what it is but can’t quite say it: 
‘Good and bad.’ 
‘What is good and what is bad?’ I ask.
‘Yes... No... Feeling good and feeling bad, why we do that.’
‘What happens in the brain?’ 
‘No, well, kind of.’
I watch her struggle to say the thing she cannot quite pin down. 
‘Why is it we are the way we are?’ she finally asks. ‘Why do we feel the way we feel?  Sometimes good, sometimes bad?’

I come home and my husband has shaved off his beard.  
I kiss his smooth cheek.
‘Your skin is red.’
‘It must not be used to being out in the world,’ he says

My son puts on a tape of lullabies to go to sleep.  My friend Sarah recorded the songs as a baby gift when he was born.  She left us last fall. Cancer.  Her sweet high voice floats across the hall as I write.  I write the way I feel, sometimes good, sometimes bad.


  1. Very stream of consciousness . . . the highs and lows of a day. It emphasizes how important our interactions are with each other. A brief smile means so much at times--I try to remember that when I'm doubting myself. Just a simple gesture of kindness is a life buoy when life tosses you around.

  2. "I write the way I feel, sometimes good, sometimes bad."
    You capture so well the pull and push of ones day...

  3. Katie, this is going to be one of my favorite pieces of yours. It's exactly the days, isn't it-good and bad? I love the way you included the parts, and took us home too. Lovely!

  4. I feel like every day is like this - some good, some bad. What a great piece. Thanks for sharing. The ending was lovely and bittersweet.

  5. A thought provoking post. Don't we all wonder what your student did: ‘Why is it we are the way we are?’ she finally asks. ‘Why do we feel the way we feel? Sometimes good, sometimes bad?’. I liked how you brought it all together. Thanks for sharing.