The Damage is (mostly) unDone

Next to parents, teachers have the hardest job in the world. They’re underpaid, under appreciated and under valued. And before power was switched into the hands of child (a la the Salem Witch trials), they were held the most influence in a child’s development right after parents.

I’ve been blessed to have some amazing teachers. I remember them, they way they smiled, their senses of humor, and their outrage at injustice, along with the smell of chalk, new textbooks and the taste of crayons and glue.

But, I also remember that a few of the teachers I admired most almost made me never want to write again. Ever.

And it started with a poem by arguably America’s most famous poet (and my personal favorite) Robert Frost.

No, it’s not The Road Not Taken. Although that ranks up there. Snow reminds me of my favorite poem (although it rarely rains in the Valley of the Sun). And a few weeks ago, the poem returned on an episode of Elementary. Joan Watson gave it to Sherlock, she said it was a bit dark. My teacher said it was about suicide.

I didn’t agree with either.  (And received a C on a paper, not a pleasant experience for a straight A student)

So what is my favorite poem? Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. Read it here.

I don’t find it dark, I find it a lesson in life. To stop and commune with nature. To ignore our pressing chores to just exist in the moment. To take the time to just be because we won’t always be.

But to be told my interpretation was  wrong and have it constantly reinforced, kept me from writing down all those stories in my head. Because if I was wrong about what words meant, how could I share the stories inside my head by painting word pictures?

So I only wrote sporadically for years. Until I stopped and watched the rain hit my windshield and fall on farm fields. The poem came back to me and I decided that my time was mine to spend and started writing again.

Folks still tell me I’m wrong.

That’s okay. My soul is dark and deep just like the woods in the poem. And I’m comfortable there:D

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at She’d love to hear from you.
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3 Responses to The Damage is (mostly) unDone

  1. danrshaw says:

    It’s a shame that “conventional wisdom” has destroyed so many dreams. It’s truly amazing how many successful individuals where told their ideas and thoughts wouldn’t work and they where wrong headed. Conventional wisdom like:
    The world is flat
    Man will never fly
    vehicles will never replace a good horse
    Man will never walk on the moon
    Computers can’t be built in a garage
    It’s amazing when you realize all the above where accomplished without computer assistance?
    It’s those who think outside the box and who develop critical thinking that have brought forth great accomplishments. They are the ones who refused to even get in the box to start with.

    OK, I just went and read the poem. I’m a guy and I don’t do poety but I kinda liked the poem. Maybe I’m just getting old and can appreciate it more?
    I don’t get the suicide bit at all? I guess if you take the words as written it reads just as you stated. Someone stopping to admire nature. If you think about it the snowfall will be much easier to see and admire in the woods where there is a more consistant contrast. I think they just jump on the last sentences “miles to go before I sleep” and want to put meaning into that I didn’t get from the rest of the poem. You know sometimes if it smells like a pig and grunts like a pig then it’s just a pig.
    So the bottom line is, Yes, your not normal, but then that’s a good thing.

    • I think their reaction gave me the courage and pigheadedness to keep writing. I know so many who’ve had success and then gave up. It that “I’ll show ’em” attitude. I blame my mother.

  2. Speaking of poetry: “A poem should not mean, but be.” Teachers of literature should be made to memorize that one. For the connoisseur, it’s “Ars Poetica” by Archibald MacLeish.

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