Sunday, August 30, 2009

That long held breath before beginning

The evening feels tinged with sadness in an unexpected way, as the day's clouds clear away just in time for the last of the light. I'm acutely aware of everything I didn't get done this weekend. I've been low-energy, knocked low by a cold that I probably caught either in the pit at the Springsteen show or else on the plane there or back. (In which case it was worth it...)

Classes at the university where I work start tomorrow. It's always hectic, with thousands of students pouring onto campus: long lines at restaurants, parking lots filled to bursting, Target not someplace you want to even think about setting foot in for a while. But at the same time I always love it. Thousands of people, every one of them feeling like they get to have a bit of a new beginning. It's pretty sweet in a hectic, crowded, obnoxious way.

This month marks thirty years since I first moved to Bloomington as a starry-eyed eighteen-year-old freshman. I fell in love with the place right away, sensed that I could become a lot of different people here. I took classes in which people took me seriously as a thinker, as a writer; I learned to take myself seriously as well (maybe a bit too seriously). Funny to think that I have been here so long, stayed here to ride out so many changes. Funny to think of what's stayed the same.

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A little pile of rejections over this past week. Clearing the decks, I suppose, for a big submission push in September. At least, if I know what's good for me.

Also got proofs for my poem that's forthcoming in the fall issue of Field. Nice to be reminded of the little successes in the midst of aforementioned rejection pile.

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A draftish thing from yesterday, which will (as per usual) disappear after a day or so:



Rachel M. Slough said...

This post really resonated for me. I love the way you describe the beginning of the school year--that's EXACTLY it :)
I've not been here nearly as long as you have, but I clearly remember that feeling of falling in love with this place. I came back from my visit (in January) in tears because "it was soooo great--but they won't want me!"Even 2 years in, I can't believe how much I've changed and been inspired.

I also enjoyed this poem and hope to see it again when you're happy with it. So moving!

Jessie Carty said...

i really wish i could move back to where i went to college. i always loved back to school. just loved it!

also enjoyed reading your draft especially the rhythm in the 2nd stanza and this line "singing become a force of gravity"

have a great week!

Anne said...

Rachel & Jessie - thanks! :) There's something about being in a college town at the beginning of the year, isn't there? Even though it's kind of annoying too. I suppose this is how people in summer tourist towns feel when Memorial Day hits.