Current Occupation: Teacher
Former Occupation: Teacher
Contact Information: Lydia Freeman is a teacher at KIPP ENC Public Schools in Gaston, North Carolina where she pushes sixth graders to think deeply and engage with historical, social and political spheres while practicing reading and writing. She writes often, engages deeply in conversation with friends, and strives to live purposefully in her community.
The Importance of Nothing
I’m filing today, counting out the
alphabet and trying to remember whether
J goes before or after K and singing
A-B-C-D-E-F-G, trying to remember
where to put Bennigan, Sylvia, J.
and being surprised twice to find
G after F, memorizing minutes, testing time, glancing at
the numbers on the screen of my phone, wishing the day
would just end and I wouldn’t have to file anymore.
I’d rather be dancing in the rain, writing, singing,
dreaming, thinking – anything. I’d rather
be doing something that mattered.
…and I look at the rain
falling outside the window and I
remember Einstein, barely graduating college,
working in a patents office
in Berlin, watching the same rain as today, and I
think on all those patents and what a waste
that the Albert Einstein spent years
examining patents instead of… instead of
…doing something smart, doing something important,
instead of sitting in a room
examining patents: H-I-J-K-L-M-N
in that room, examining those patents,
Einstein began connecting space and time
and the general theory of relativity began
to breathe and unfurl – The Universe
was about to begin undressing and reveal the top
half of her left breast because the meaningless,
menial, boring jobs leave our minds half free for
dancing, writing, singing, dreaming, thinking, anything,
I wrote this poem.
And I’m filing.