Monday, December 29, 2008

Time, Why you punish me?

I've been thinking about the passage of time. This Spring is my 20th high school reunion. 20 years?! Remember when 20 was old? And as we end this old year and begin a new one I wonder: "What have I been doing for 20 years?" Certainly a great deal, but it doesn't always feel as though a lot was accomplished. I hate getting nostalgic. Pulling out the old pictures and old music and adding a Parisesque rose-colored hue to my memories. Some of the things from high school sucked, as did some of the people. That's a hard time for everyone. Do we forgive the mean bullies from that time period who have friended us on Facebook because they now have spouses and children? Shouldn't they know the discomfort and pain they caused you back when your self-esteem and ego were brand-spanking new? Yup, I am one of those people who remember the bad things and don't really remember the good things. I am one of those people who can recall, with crystal clarity (at least according to myself) exactly where I was standing and what I was wearing when the initial slight was given. And I never remember the positive impact that I had on people, even if they told me.

Facebook. A strange place for longing to be created. But it has been. I miss the rose-colored times of my youth. I miss being free and able to stay out late at night and partay! I miss stupid location jokes and the luxury of time. And then I snap out of it and think, those times were no better than these times. This is the moment to make a happy memory. And this is the moment to look past petty memories (and actions, don't forget the actions!) of the past. I'm going to my 20th high school reunion and plan to see the people there in that moment and not through a kaleidescope from 1989!

Enjoy the passage of time.

Photo by: ToniVC

Saturday, December 27, 2008


When is it ever? When am I ever? I have had! I simultaneously hate and love the word "enough." It makes me think of being full and done. It also reminds me that I may not be full or done. The English language mystifies me.

How did this post make it to the light? I was sitting in the bathroom, yes the place where many a magical idea arises, and also the only place where I have relative peace, and I once again began lamenting not writing my entrance essays. I am paralyzed by the fact that I am not going to get in to any graduate program. My solution to this dilemma is to postpone writing my essays and hopefully it will be too late to send them. The truth is that I need to confront the fear of rejection. The fear of being overwhelmed. The fear of not being enough. It's not a truth. There are very few of those. Just my own private Idaho where I get lost in a tangle of negative 8-track looped thoughts and memories.

But I will chose to write those essays, and confront my clutter and constantly stop the 8-track loop and play something more positive. It is just so damn hard.

I have had enough of fear. Enough.

Photo by: Madgirl

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Erran Baron Cohen -

This is my family - all the divergent parts in one music video. Even down to the breakdancing Hasid (MAX!).

in peace

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Light More Light

Light More Light is actually the motto for my undergraduate college, Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. I have been thinking about this month of holidays. All of them bring the promise and the miracle of light with them. Hannukah and the miracle of the eight days of candle oil when there was only "enough" for one. Christmas where the star of Bethlehem heralded the birth of the Christian Messiah. And Winter Solstice, or Yule, where we bring a log from the fires of Beltane, into our homes and light it to give us warmth and remind us of the promise of Spring. So much light. The ancients were brilliant (ah, a pun!). Winter can be both beautiful and depressing. A time of being domestic with family and warmth. A time to enjoy the work done in the spring, summer and fall of harvesting and preserving food for the cold times. A time to light fires and bake cookies and cuddle under quilts and blankets. But there is a dark side to these dark times. Depression can set in with the asbcence of the sun. Too much family time can lead you to have "The Shining" moments in your head.

So I think about light now. This time of hibernation is the perfect introspection time. To make plans and clean house and get ready for the next evolution. Time to illuminate what is inside me.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Perpetual Student

I am applying to graduate school for religious studies - ethics. Why? That is what the admissions committee wants to know. And I am having a hard time writing it down. I know why but none of it seems very scholarly. See, this is my dilemma - I am going back for my PhD so I can teach, write and do research. That would lead you to believe that I am a scholar. Maybe I am but in my mind that is a dirty word because I liken it to using big words and using "one" a great deal, i.e. "one should always use big words if one wants to get one's point across."

But I don't write like that. And I don't think like that. And in fact I try to use as few words as possible to get my point across. And I also seem to have a huge problem using commas properly. A problem identified by my Freshman Studies teacher in college. It hasn't gotten much better.

So, here I sit trying to write my graduate school entrance essays. And I am stumped. I am also overthinking the whole thing. And can I use words like "overthinking" in an essay? At times like these I think of my friend, we shall call her Wonder Woman, because she reminds me of the very best of WW's amazonian ancestry. I have spent the last 12 years of my life comparing myself, miserably so, to WW. She is taller than me, blonder than me (that's a joke! - she is blonde, but I am not - well, never mind) and such an amazing writer and scholar. Her points feel thought out and thorough and deep. She is brilliant in my estimation. She would do a really good job of writing this essay. And that is because she takes her time and wrestles with questions. She really goes through them from all angles until she reaches the center. That is discipline and skill.
I wonder if I have that skill, I can definitely develop that discipline.

WW inspires me. She breathes life into my thoughts and schemes. My mind tends to wander and get lost and then grasps on a whisper of an idea. I need to talk things out, debate with other people. I learn differently. And I wonder if the way I learn and express myself will be crushed in academia. Bottom line: Am I smart enough, in the ways that I am smart, to be a scholar?
Maybe I need to change the way I think of scholarly. And now I am rambling.

I titled this post "Perpetual Student" because I was going to write about how I have spent a great deal of my life in school. I love school. I also already have a master's degree and work part time as a college professor. And I want to stay there. Not because it's not the "real world" but because I think it is closer to what I want the real world to be, a place where you question and debate and try new things. But inside that freedom there is a network - an old -something network. There is tenure and publishing and competition. There are games that need to be played. And I guess that is true of any profession. I am in a place of apathy right now about my applications, partly because I don't know how to say what I want to say but mostly because I am afraid to say what I want to say: that I want to change the world. There I said it. At 30-something I am still an idealist. I am still engaged and I still believe that I have not lived up to my potential.

From Merriam-Webster's:
Perpetual:1 a
: continuing forever : everlasting <perpetual motion> b (1): valid for all time perpetual right> (2): holding (as an office) for life or for an unlimited time2: occurring continually : indefinitely long-continued <perpetual problems>3: blooming continuously throughout the season

scholar , learner ; especially : one who attends a school2: one who studies : an attentive and systematic observer student of politics>

My favorite: A blooming continuously throughout the season attentive and systematic observer.

That's me!

in peace

photo by Cheesemonster