Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick

My candle burns and both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.
-"First Fig," Edna St. Vincent Millay

In this space, life has been quiet, waiting, and I return to ranunculus and meatballs and I remember when life was just slow enough for all those moments to make their way into words. Outside of this space, life has been bustling, to-do list compiled, little ticks marking of accomplishments while providing rhythm to my day. I'm beginning to think there's another genre out there - task music - music made from the accumulation of all those little ticks and scratched lines on a vertically weighted page.

Even in the middle of the movement, I've been good, full of a life that is simultaneously so joyous and frustrating, so exhilarating and exhausting, that even when I am tired and grumpy, its got good origins.

I'm back to early, early mornings of work, sitting by the window grading, typing, reading, sipping coffee and promising myself that if I finish my task I will reward myself with more time in that same spot, which I love, but this time with a poem, a letter, or photograph.

Last night, still under the weight of the list, I poured an iced coffee with milk and a splash of vanilla, turned on some TED talks and got to work. Before I knew it I had one assignment down, a handful of student emails read and responded to, a desktop cleared, and a couch returned to three cushions instead of 1.5 and a pile of paper. The pace isn't slowing, but my speed, or maybe more importantly, my stamina, is improving.


Chelsea said...

"Task music" - I love it. I think part of being in the academic world is having a strange love for the never ending list.

Brandi and Chelle's mom said...

Thank you Thank you for introducing me to TED. I will spend lots of time there.