Today there were several of those moments. Including a good class even though I was exhausted. Everyone was there, the room was oddly filled with sunlight even though, if I remember right, it was cloudy all morning. There was strange energy caused perhaps by the fact that we are almost there, to the end. Friendships have formed. There is an ease about them that didn't exist in the beginning of it all. And tonight I am realizing that my first year of teaching is almost done. Wondering if it will ever be this good again and hoping that it will only get better. I hope I always remember every name, every face, every personality from this first year--forever.
Yesterday, god, let's forget yesterday. Sometimes I wonder what it is about me that has such tendency to create conflict. And there's really no way of talking about it or explaining anything, at least not here... so fine, yesterday is done. And soon this year will be too and in some ways I am absolutely relieved. In others, reluctant; this is where it all started. Yet not, because my entire life brought me to this point. Confrontational or not.
After class I packed my bag and went out for breakfast. I graded papers over hashbrowns and eggs and several cups of coffee. Writing good enough to, at least for moments, draw me out of the restaurant and into their stories. Then a walk to the vet for dog medicine and cold, windy, grey air, snapping me back into this real, alternate reality and back to my car which brought me to the public library. I had an hour and a half before I needed to be anywhere. How did I end up there I don't know except that it is that time of year when I am feeling tired and frustrated and looking for moments of reprieve. So I spent my time looking at books with titles like The Secret Lives of Birds and How to Build a Time Machine. Since I came in empty handed, I had to ask the librarian for paper and a writing utensil to scribble down fleeting thoughts, that at the time, seemed relevant. Now I have a pile of these fragments on little scraps of paper, on the backs of recycled coupons.
Words... which from the library led me to the faculty reading. And it was good. Mark, who turns even painful moments into sturdy little diamonds, who notices things on molecular levels. Susan, whose life is full, brimming over with shiny acorns and love, so much so that it too is almost painful. Lauren, who I've never heard read... her persistence in drawing out the story. Carol Ann, who brings back to life memories of Italy in sounds and sensuality. Yes, it was good to hear them read, to see that the writing life never leaves you, even if you tried, it's always there tugging at your sleeve, your thoughts, your way of seeing the world.
What happened after that? Several hours of non-being until after a nap, groggy, I took a bath. Deep, warm water. Our house does not contain a shower... only a bath in a small room that is warm and contained, and good for reading. Which is where I started V.W.'s Moments of Being. And that is what has brought me to thoughts on writing... what we remember, what we forget, and how we turn our lives into something other than meaningless fragments. I was reading and writing on the side (in my mind). Bath tub revelations now fading... realizing now that what a writer needs is time. Time to ponderously eat breakfast, take walks on cold, windy mornings, time to wander aimlessly the aisles of libraries, time to listen to the poetry of others, time to nap, time to warm bones underwater, to read and to stare off into space.
These are the things that create those diamond studded moments of being. The rest, I guess, is just the stuff that gets you there.