In the Classroom

BY ROGER PAO

We are fast becoming mirrors of ourselves. Our shadows fall in the same positions, at the same clockwork time. A stranger confers lessons our predecessors have learned in the same way Earth redeems its raindrops, over and over again without volition. We are asked who knows the meaning of this meaning. In the silence that separates question and answer, we hear the rain outside, though we do not know its meaning.

We return to this place to leave it. We inhabit a place we do not belong. We foresee another will take the place we leave behind. But we refuse these lessons. We refuse to raise our handsto answer the question. We choose to know ourselves as the sole selves who will inhabit our private mirrors, our private shadows. We foresee ourselves according to the assurancesof our shadows. Do not tell us the meaning of this meaning. Let us listen to the redemption of rain. We refuse to raise our hands.

We are fast becoming mirrors of ourselves. Let us listen to the rain, while we are sheltered from the rain. If our shadows do not fall in the same positions, how will we know they are ours? If we are not our reflections, how can we know ourselves? A stranger reassures us with the lessons our predecessors were taught, but we are not reassured. We refuse the meaning of this meaning. We refuse the answer to the question. Our lowered hands have spoken.

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