At the moment, I'm waiting for my brother to pick me up so that we can size up the fish tank situation and then go to the pet store to get whatever supplies we need for cleaning it. I'm actually looking forward it. Excuse me? Looking forward to it? Yes, that is how badly I need a break.
And in case you're wondering what I'm going on about, I'm talking about the fish tank at work. The one hiding behind the 2-way mirror in the bathroom. It's a very cool set up, actually--because if you look in the mirror without turning on the lights, you see swimming fish instead of your reflection. The mechanics of the fish tank are completely hidden in the wall. Needless to say, feeding the fish in the morning before we open makes me feel a little bit like the wizard in the Wizard of Oz. Pull back the curtain (or, in our case, open the cabinet door) and you might be disappointed by what you find. And so, a full-on (and horribly over-due) cleaning of the fish tank takes me (and my brother) to a whole new level of magic making. Magic is not an illusion. There are very real janitorial duties involved. And I suppose this goes for anything we do. Whether we keep fish behind our bathroom mirrors or paint or write or raise babies or work for the circus... let's face it, the manifestation of magic requires unfeigned effort.
This past week has been a rather difficult week of writing. I feel stuck and unsure of where I'm headed with it. I want to get done with this thesis because I can't seem to get the censors to leave me alone. Despite my best efforts, I still have Thesis Committee Members hanging out in my head every time I sit down to work on it. They're all nice enough people...but (in my imagination) they impose too many demands on my writing--one is a stickler for commas, one must have a reason for everything, and another...well, I just can't tell with her. Then there's the Grad office. That censor takes the form of a secretary who will only accept standard formatting. Period. In the end, I write for myself. But, my god, such terrain I must muck through to reach the end of each sentence!
I guess you could say that cleaning fish tanks is a little like cleaning out the quagmire of my writing-mind. I need a break and I'm willing to clean fish tanks to get one! Has it really come to this?
Afterwards, we're headed to a new Indian restaurant, the Mysore Cafe. It just opened and I've been looking forward to eating there ever since I saw them putting the sign up. I watched from the windows of the bus as they hung precariously from ladders in the Minneapolis cold. M.Y.S.O... mmmmmmmmmm...did someone say dosas? I've recently decided that I'm going to spend the next month eating nothing but Indian food, listening to nothing but ragas, and watching nothing but Bollywood.
There's more than one way to work magic, you know.