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  • As a public school teacher, I am blessed with two months vacation each summer, ample time to create, relax, and recharge the soul's battery. One added bonus is the allowance for sleeping in! Or so I thought.
    Due to a cracked gas line, my street is being torn up and repaired. Just shy of 7 AM, construction workers begin a two hour ritual of jack hammering the asphalt and concrete, a cacophony that rouses me each morning with a start. (I believe there is a special place in hell for construction workers who disrupt sleep with a jackhammer where they are jackhammered from behind for eternity.) This bone-rattling sound is coupled with shouts, pounding, and all other sounds ordinarily heard whilst torturing terrorists for information. I have given up on sleeping in and have dragged my tired ass around for two weeks now.
    While returning from the market earlier this week, I stopped to stare at a rectangular hole dug deep into the body of NYC. I couldn't help but stare at the soft brown earth underneath the concrete, turned over and soft like powder. Beneath the concrete streets I walk daily there is this beautiful expanse of soil, Beneath this rugged exterior of a metropolis there is a natural world capable of sustaining growth if left unfettered. I smiled and thought about my own life. I have worked hard to foster a "thick skin," something the teaching profession deigns an asset. However, beneath my hardened veneer, there is still a soft and fertile soul that can write music and poems, draw, and create comedy routines to deliver on stage. It was a welcome reminder that We all have that beauty inside of us, despite the self we show to the world; sometimes we just need to dig a little deeper to remind ourselves it is there.
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