“There is more beauty on earth than I can bear”

I wrote this at the beginning of break, but it needed some time before I could post it.


Greetings from upstate New York.

The poet Marilyn Nelson wrote my title line, which is strikingly similar to one of my favorite Modest Mouse lyrics: “so much beauty it can make you cry.”

In the interest of truth-telling, I have been struggling this winter. I miss home and my old job, despite having a cozy yurt and a great job with amazing people and kids. Maybe it’s the sun who stays hidden most of the time in the UP. Maybe it’s just that I struggle with permanent change. Always have. Maybe it’s not teaching American literature. At any rate, you get used to a place, all its perks, faults, beauty, and idiosyncrasies.

Frankly, the way I feel has nothing to do with what I do have in the UP. Our time here in the UP has been full of blessings, including 3 and counting free propane tanks. :-)

Anyway, this general sadness, in addition to the piles and piles of stuff to grade, is why I hadn’t posted in a long time. I can’t find the time, and I just keep thinking, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I haven’t felt inspired. Even my Bread Loaf books haven’t sucked me in.

And yet, even on a night when I was really struggling, I looked out the yurt door and saw this and remembered what I know. The land is always trying to remind us to live in the here and now and to appreciate the beauty around us. So I try. DSC_0016








Oh, and I hatched a plan with my mom to get out of there for my spring break. It’s not a tropical paradise, but my mom, grandma, and John are here. They’ll take good care of me and in theory, I am finally going to crack my Bread Loaf books for this summer.

One thought on ““There is more beauty on earth than I can bear”

  1. Deb Mann says:

    When you were like 11 or 12 and we went to Glacier National Park , you said the scenery on the Going To The Sun Road was so beautiful it made you cry. I was astonished at your comment at your age but I knew exactly what you meant! The photos of winter calm are beautiful too and it’s okay to cry!

    We all miss you and love you!


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