I was going to write about some other things here. More methods notes on transcriptionist liability and a software design I’m working on to enable fast navigation of realtime transcripts. This week’s academic career coaching with Sally. But that’s not how the evening went, and I’m happy with what I did instead, and I’m not worried about catching up my writing about everything I’ve done.
So instead, I’ll write about what I want to write about. That I love our Thursday interfaith dinners; that James’s image of wrongfully using “prayer” as a weapon to manipulate and twist control struck me (as something I’ve encountered far too often and never want to do myself), and that one of Lindsey’s comments tonight made me re-realize that prayers, like sacraments, are for the growth of people and not any need or effect on the infinite divine.
I’ll write that I love hot chili and thick snow and the warm knit cap/scarf combo I’ve just inherited from Susan; the ear flaps keep my ears warm without making my hearing aids squeal with feedback. That small things make me happy. Today’s mango smoothie. This week’s department seminar on the Theology of Engineering by a guest speaker from American History. Tomorrow’s experimental Shut Up And Write session (thanks to Emily for the kitchen timer loan).
I love that I have started telling friends my wildest and most ambitious dreams, and that they are encouraged — not just tolerated, actively damn girl, you go for it encouraged.
Other things I love: the occasional indulgence when I let myself get drunk on intellectual discussions — no actual alcohol involved, just a room where incredibly smart people are deeply engrossed in fascinating ideas with old colleagues. The war stories and ideas fly thick and fast and hard and I am there slinging and sliding in the midst of it, hearing stories of titans of the field clashing before they were titans, watching my intellectual self shed its baby fat and start becoming a gangly teenager just learning how to use my new long limbs, my growing strength, my increasingly earnest training tempered with strategic rest (also part of that training; I rest now just as earnestly as I train hard). I’m free to chase potentially stupid ideas, crazy theories, mind-flipping paradigms; it’s fine for me to go silent and incoherent for stretches; there’s nothing I’m particularly obligated to sync with. My postmodernism, feminism, Catholicism, accessibility activism and hacktivism, infinite multiplicities of -alities and -isms — they clash with each other, bleed all over my life, spin me around nearly every day now; it feels like my insides are melting and being rearranged into a new and unknown form.
That I can think about travel — crazy, multilingual, extended world travel — and go wait right I could do that really whoa. That I can think about getting my skydiving certification and motorcycle license this spring, that I could… oh, there is so much that I want to do in this life, so much marrow to suck out of it, so much to be aware of, present with. I can’t do it all. I need to pick what I’ll be fully here for instead of spreading myself thin over everything I want to do and not enjoying enough of any of it.
Libraries. I must have stood there with my mouth open for at least a full minute at Ohio State; the stacks keep going up and up and up, the massive plate glass windows in the lobby never seem to stop, the reading rooms are classically huge and when I sit down in them Wednesday mornings I feel like I am sitting with the ghosts of generations of apprentice scholars from many centuries before and after me; who will I choose as intellectual progenitors, who will my intellectual descendants be? What books will I write that will someday sit on these shelves?
Dancing. Even when my body is slow and sluggish and sleepy and doesn’t want to move, it teaches me through that. And I appear to have my first cast — for the first dance I’ve ever choreographed — and we have a month (a month!) to put everything together. I thought it would be a trio. Now it might be a quintet. And there’ll be a weekend in February when I go directly from a women’s retreat to getting my dancers through our dress rehearsal to a long drive out to Iowa through my cochlear implant candidacy evaluation to Chicago to decompress with my cousins and then back through Indiana to Ohio to those massive libraries, those furious intellectual arguments, to school.
And rest. And rest. And now it’s time for that. I’m having strange dreams this week; I really do feel like both my intellectual and physical (and spiritual and emotional?) insides are melting and being rearranged at different rates, in different ways. There’s quickness and intensity here, but a lot of it is slow and subtle and silent, and… I’m eager to go wherever all this goes, and right now it’s going to bed.