Wednesday, November 18, 2015
All through the fall, I've found myself with a crippling bout of longing. My friend Gail says you should identify your core desired feelings. Elation. How about that. Or exhilaration?
Our trip to Scotland was, this last time, magnificent. When we came back, we had to dive into school like doing a turn at the far end of the pool. A poorly executed turn, where you predictably but not purposefully inhale a lot of water. And you still have to swim, sputtering and coughing.
Not rage. Not can't come up for air. Not who do I think I am, anyway?
Last night, after a series of student conferences--online, at night--where half (not an exaggeration) of the students did not show up, I came into the bedroom where the historian was half resting, half watching television. Bruiser was, of course, aligned, both in purpose and in body, with these activities. I got under the covers, just to, you know, relax. I don't like being stood up by students for evening online appointments. It feels rude and maybe a little weasely and it invites all the thoughts, like, what am I doing wrong, that my students can't remember their appointments? and why am I so dumb, that I allow this to happen? and so on. Unproductive. Anxiety, and rage, producing.
But last night, I let it go. I thought, I did my part. And I did. I was prepared for those conversations and the students have my written feedback. I thought, time to breathe.
And I did.
This morning on my way to work, I started to think about a poem I'm nominally working on. I came up with a line and a half, and I thought, I'm on my way in. And now is the time I should be writing. And although always is the time I should be writing, I felt just a tiny taste of a core desired feeling. I felt elated.