Friday, September 10, 2010

Season of failing light

So there was the trip to Cleveland, which I've mentioned. Then there was a longweekend of running up to Mom's. Then there was the first week of classes and the accompanying realization that summer is over. Then there was a work week dominated by talking with candidates for a brand-new position as head of our department.

Frankly, I'm worn out. I want to do this for about a week:

The work stuff has been good - the candidates our search committee brought in were very smart people and it was fun talking to them, and the process kind of reinvigorated me about my job a bit, the way talking to people with ideas often can - but to be honest I'm not used to being so emotionally invested in my job. I love my job, don't get me wrong - it is work that I believe in, that I care about, and that I'm sometimes pretty good at - but a couple of super busy work weeks don't usually drain me to the point that I collapse on the couch in front of the U.S. Open and am too tired to get up even when someone bangs on my front door, which is what happened this evening. (I'm going to assume it was somebody with some kind of a petition, or else Mormons. It's usually one of those.)

No wonder I'm not writing much right now. It's not so much that it takes enormous amounts of time to write poems, but (for me anyway) it takes emotional and intellectual focus. It takes my full attention and a level of energy that I can't muster up right now.

It'll be back. I know that.

Here's where I was two years ago:

I miss the ocean sometimes. I do have some good concerts to look forward to, though - Shawn Colvin at the end of this month, John Mellencamp's first hometown show in a decade next month, and (providing I manage to buy tickets) the Max Weinberg Big Band up in Indianapolis next month. As always - music, even just the thought of looking forward to music, revives me.

Lastly, a poem. I forget who posted this on Twitter or Facebook a while back, but whoever it was, thanks. I'm not sure why I love this poem, but I do. It came from the Vermont Studio Center's website.

The Miniature Bed

A miniature bed, and in it two tiny people
not sleeping, not able to sleep because
a small lie has flowered between them,
fragile as a new, white crocus.
The miniature bed holds them like a miniature boat
making its slow, true course to morning.
These tiny people, thoughts thrumming like mice,
are quiet as the lie blooms luminous
over them in the night, fanning its moth petals,
becoming to them like a moon hovering
over their bed, a moon they might almost touch
with their miniature hands, if they weren’t certain
that one wrong gesture might break
the spindles of their small world, if their hearts
were not drops of trembling quicksilver,
if they were brave, if they could see
that small is no smaller than big, that thimbles
are deep as oceans for any god, they might even
touch each other then, opening the dark,
like a match the sun’s flaring.

-Jenny George