Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Russet Coat



...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.


6 comments:

hannah banana said...

I like this. Revel, my dear. Revel!

Brandi and Chelle's mom said...

Enjoy your time of creating!

Zach said...

It is sort of a strange thing, isn't it? On the one hand, the qualifying exams have been stressing me out because they interrupt my grad school routine. They have forced me away from answering the dozens of student e-mails, and they have made it impossible to do the normal amount of grading that I would do this weekend.

On the other hand, though, I had this realization last night that for the first time in a while I am writing something completely of my own construction--something not grounded in a specific graduate seminar, something I set the context for and that I am writing with little feedback from others. It is an exciting thing, and I have to say that though they are flawed and truncated, I really do like the two little essays I have written.

Caitlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caitlin said...

I have to type "foxityr" in order to post this. And that makes me think of some sort of foxy martyr. Or a fox that is a martyr (and believe, the two are wildly different. One, you want in bed, the other you...probably don't.)

I should be writing my comps. And sorry you found my "blog." It's kind of dumb, I assure you. :)

P.S. I deleted my comment and reposted it because I mistyped, like, four words. Which probably doesn't bode well for my Comps writing. But my new word verification word is "kater." ...so yeah.

K A R I™ said...

:-)