Monday, February 27, 2017

Sea Change.

When you're young, at least when I was young, familiar wisdom seemed trite.  Silly.  Antiquated in it's consistency.

'Everything changes' was the worst.  Of course everything changes.  Of course it does.  It always does.  Need we be reminded of that?  And here I am, how many years later, marveling at the fact that everything changes.

Yes, it is true- everything changes.

A decade ago I was getting ready to go to graduate school for colonial North American history.  Now, much to my chagrin, I'm back in school and this time for Environmental Sciences (with all the maths a non-maths gal like me could possibly hope for).  Sarcasm has not changed.

But I have.  Gone is the ferociously independent wild child that I was for just about 3 decades.  Gone is the girl who lived deliberately (and, unchanged, dislikes Walden with something close to religious zealotry) and decisively.  Gone is the mouth, gone is the arched eye-brow, gone is the flippancy, intellect, and sometimes I think the writing chutzpah (ego might be a change, too).  Boy how I have changed.

And here I sit, having just finished up a mind-numbing redux of the Laws of Sines and Cosines, thinking about change.  About my change and the changing world around me.  You see, the other day, my husband asked me if I was feeling a little too 'Groundhog Day' (think the movie, not the actual event) about life.  And to be honest, I thought I was.  I thought there was something humdrum about the in and out of what I do day to day.  And I thought that that was the reason... the reason that I was fading, changing.  Maybe I'm changing myself to suit this everyday.

But then I looked around and realized how very much has changed.  It's impossible that I'm ground-hogging it because things are changing all over the place.  They are admittedly often infinitesimally small changes, but things, they are a-changing.

Which means I have no excuse.

So there's that.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Covered Ground.

In these past few weeks, I have had an immense amount of trouble writing.  Not for lack of material, not for lack of need or desire, but for lack of... well, for lack of hope.  And inspiration.  I have had trouble writing because everything I write, or begin to write, ends up something like this:
I am 32 years old and this is the first time, in my life, that the dread had outweighed the hope. 
The first time that the Future* has seemed at the very least bleak, at the worst, spiraling into dystopian and post-apocalyptic.  Yeah, I said it. 
*By Future I mean the big one, the big, complicated, messy, confused hazy future that EVERYONE faces.
Seriously.  I have at least a dozen posts rumbling around, barely written, desperate to escape, who are never getting out because they look like that.  Because that post, like the others, would only get worse, more honest, and more abrasive from there.

I hate and fear that I am becoming one-sided and mean.  And hopeless.

Trying to combat that, I have looked around me for good(ness).  I have avoided staying on the Facebook feed for long periods of time.  I won't watch the news... well I watched the press conference last night and almost launched plates at the tele... so I'm back to not watching the news.

I have embraced the ebb and flow of personal interest in a bid to remember passionate obsession and that aforementioned good(ness) and in doing so have once again returned to my first Great Love: Poetry...

And it turns out that the poetry that really gets me going is not so much hopeful and full of good(ness) as it is.. ermm.. potent, resonant, dark, probing.  It's abrasive and frank.  This should not come as a surprise.  My favorite poet (a well known and discussed fact) is TS Eliot.  There is a reason he is a Lion amongst Lambs: his genius is as personal as it is biting.  I covet talent like his.  But rereading his work for the (what feels like) millionth time, I am struck by the notion that I am dark, really dark.  That I might be as lacking in hope and good(ness) as these times which unsettle me.

For example... in case you've never bothered before...

There are so many lines.  So much text to wade through.  And yet it captivates me endlessly.  I've prattled on about this so many times that I don't think I need to add more.

Then there's Donne... whose lines echo in my mind relentlessly:

I mean.. this isn't exactly popcorn reading.  I've got to sit back every now and then wonder what is wrong with me??  What is it that drives me into my melancholic mind, into a fragile refuge?  And finally it drives this question that's been bothering me for the past few weeks.  Why can't I see daisies and rainbows rather than absence, darkness,.. well you get it. 

Poor press conferences notwithstanding... it's confounding.