Saturday, October 26, 2013

Between a location and a line

1. These days, I think about the many gifts I've received since I began working at an office again--foremost of which is the privilege and opportunity to help more people than my poor imagination can ever imagine, to put whatever little skill I might have to good use for other people.

Then there is the privilege of learning from people who know so much more than I do; and learning about and from  one's own weaknesses. 

There, too, is the constant demand to empty oneself--to let the self not get in the way--so that what needs to be done gets done.

Even the daily commute by train has become a 20- to 30-minute ride on which I get to read, and take down notes, on poetry (or books on poetry). It's become like a daily class; and the 15-minute walk I take to and from the train station, both a substitute for the gym and daily prayer. 

Working at the office has helped me identify the things I absolutely need to focus on outside office hours: Mainly, my family and the writing I need to do (for school) and the writing I want to do (outside school).  

But writing requires a kind of mental and psychic space--in addition to physical space, and a decent amount of time--and this kind of space, I still find difficult to find, or balance, with the mental and psychic space that the family and the office demand.

2. I've always wanted to be a teacher. When I graduated from college, I would have been happy to have been given a faculty cubicle. But circumstances arose that made me think then that I was not a good fit for academia. 

About a year ago,  I returned to academia, thinking that I had, perhaps, given up the dream too hastily. But new circumstances arose that made me realize I was still not a good fit.  

I suppose a faculty position might afford a bit more writing time than I currently have, or enjoy--but surely, chasing after a faculty cubicle when all you want to do is write (not necessarily teach in an academic setting) isn't the best choice. What kind of teacher would I be, then? I probably wouldn't be helping anyone much at all.

3. There remains, however, the problem that is the writing that I want to do, but can't find the strength to actually do. For now. I know you will say that I don't want this enough for myself. You don't know what you're talking about.

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