...break pear and quince-
leave half-trees, torn, twisted,
but showing the fight was valiant.
-H.D. from "Sheltered Garden"
Autumn is upon us, as evidenced the rain and wind currently wrapping on our windows, begging to be noticed. To be honest, I love the cold, gray weather than comes in mid-September and stays with us until the spring. I like the challenge to resist the notion of gloom associated with the weather, tuck into warm spaces, wrap myself in cardigans, quilts, and hand knit scarves. I'm interested in the beautiful battle of the seasons, nature's growth spurts that leaves us muddling around town on a bed of brassy leaves.
This weekend I will find warm nooks and hot drinks to help motivate me through my own valiant fight - my Qualifying Exams. It's funny, I spent all week dreading the reality that after days of teaching, writing, and reading, I would be spending my weekend not relaxing and preparing for the following week, but instead writing two essays that will hopefully allow me to obtain my MA degree. I was dreading the work of it, the panic that always seem to come when one has limited time to complete a task that is meant in some way to symbolize what you know and how well you can use that knowledge. In an effort to keep myself calm, motivated, and productive, I've been working in shifts, allowing myself breaks to relax, gather my thoughts, remind myself of what I do know, what I can do. This morning, after a good night's sleep and a large mug of coffee, I realized it feels less like a fight and more like a gift. I get, for two days, to spend my time making something (and lord knows I whine enough that I never have time to make anything) - and that something is a subject I'm interested in, that I've offered up a chunk of my life for, that I get squinty eyes and pink cheeks and a twittery stomach when I talk about it.
So, until Monday, when I turn in these two essays, I've decided to give myself a swift kick in the pants, not tot get it done, because that always happens, but to enjoy it. Winter is coming quickly, and so too is my brief time of rest, so I think I'll be taking a card from the seasons and instead of shrinking away due to lack of sunlight, or melting under the wet weight of the rain, I might cover the ground with the brightest bursts of color I can - come modernity! and temporality!, liminality! and spatiality!
Wish me luck - not in finishing, that always seems to happen, doesn't it? But instead, wish me luck in remembering that not only do I know this, but that I love this, and loving something is one of the best ways to do well.