Kneejerk certainty is so passé

March 25, 2007

I’ve been procrastinating this post for a little over a week now… not anything in particular about its content, just as the “next” post. I’ve had a solid three dozen ideas about what it would be about, most of which have disappeared into the sands of my brain’s lost ideas, possibly forever. There were a lot of good ideas, I think, but always something pressing in the way of homework or just a sense that it wasn’t quite what I really wanted to say, and why not try something radical like waiting to see if I even know what actually think. Of course, the problem with this Zen strategy of waiting your questions out to see if they magically turn into a tasty, austere nugget of answer is that often, they don’t. They just sit there as questions and begin to become a part of everything you see. You look at the palm trees, noting the high-up bunches of young green coconuts and the pleasing litheness of the green fronds, and you think, “Should I become a doctor?” You order a pint at the pub, and every frothy sip makes you think, “Should I become a doctor?” You settle in with a travel mug of coffee and a stack of books on the poetics of autobiography and the semiotics of womens life writing and best of all MHK’s Fifth Book of Peace and you start reading intensely and making cryptic notes in your notebook, in an ecstasy of language and, you hope, intellect and you are so sure that you were meant for a life words and quietly noted moments, and yet the ink splotch that your pen makes in the margin of your college ruled pages makes you think, “But really, should I become a doctor?” Your cat watches paper pop out of the laser printer, alas not pages of a rough draft of the paper you are presenting on Saturday, but pages related to your husband’s homework, and the dear cat is clearly fascinated, and you wonder… well, you can probably guess already.

So the good news of this week is manifold and hard to translate into any useful course of action. The workshop with Rosemarie Waldrop on experimental forms rocked my world. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun twisting words around and playing with them, just playing and not worrying about what they might turn out to mean to someone else. Last Sunday, D and I read Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style over a late Sunday breakfast and I laughed and laughed and realized I would never think about poetry quite the same way again. I love MHK and I’m excited to write this paper about genre and tricksterism, and I’m trying not to worry that I’ve put it off too late. We’ve signed up to help out with a whole bunch of youth group activities at church. For some reason I am back to dithering about whether or not I should go full speed ahead on this possible doctor plan and commit myself to what will surely be a hellacious two and a half months of summer chemistry, and this stresses me out even more b/c whether or not I do affects a lot of summer travel plans and travel budgets, and every day we delay buying tickets, of course, we risk paying more than we should have if I had just made up my mind and stuck with it. Also, the idea of moving back to Kenyon and becoming a librarian in a place with a ready-made set of social connections has begun to take hold with some force, even though it also has its potential complications, such as, won’t I always wonder if I could have made it as a prof?

And the best news of the moment, I have a Cape Codder at the ready, and I’m finally writing in my blog again. For a couple of days, I was wondering if maybe I was just over blogging, but then I saw LCB’s away message that is simply “so exhausted,” and I wondered why that was, and I realized that the only way to find out is to check le blog. And so I did. Naturally, checking the blog makes me thing “But will I have time to blog if I become a doctor? And when will I have kids?”  I’m sure the connection between the two things is apparent to anyone who has tried to wrestle with insanely large and possibly ultimately meaningless life questions recently.

So, One Mint Julep and Atelier 81, I missed you. I think I’m back. But I’ll get back to you on that.

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