22 October 2012

Thoughts On A Monday

It was like being in a long vertical room with metal sidings empty of anything save wooden chairs. With me speaking loudly my voice ricocheting around and about and back to me. I heard the sound of my own voice as if it came shouting at me. It rang through my brain. I was teaching on a Monday morning and the class was especially quiet and docile. I've grown used to lively vibrant classrooms with  a lot of interaction and those accented voices from around the world sharing the space with me. But today they were quiet they were listless they were seemingly outside of their bodies and in another space entirely. I could hear my thoughts ringing about seeking solace in forgotten corners. I put them in groups where they were obliged to talk and felt the waves of their voices soothe me.

Later in the day I buzzed happily on coffee sharing quips and stories and observations with colleagues. I spoke too much now too fast too silly and giggled at my own jokes. I was quickly on to me and drew inward and read student papers and silently stroked my ego with thoughts of how cool I could become at a moment's notice. I thought I'd like to be in a community of people like Hemingway and F Scott and even Ezra Pound and certainly ee cummings and 1930s European foreign correspondents covering the Spanish Civil War and the rise of Nazi Germany and jazz scenes and James Joyce and oh those romanticized times when typewriters clickety clacked. When smoking was okay and whiskey hangovers were a sign of manhood just like catching marlin and slapping cads. I thought of that community of writers and journalists and people who mattered but were unselfconscious of it. They did not have twitter nor Facebook followers. They had class. When class meant something.

I felt how my body responds to a cold and missing trips to the gym and eating sweets and sitting a lot. I walked on the beach and talked to seagulls and they consistently failed to respond -- as if my words didn't matter to them! I thought of our cat and my daughters and my beautiful wife as I looked at the Golden Gate Bridge and the sky so bright blue after the morning rain and the clouds so brilliantly white and massive and gorgeous. The sand was ubiquitous. I threw a rock into the bay because I am still in so many ways 10 years old. I squinted. I stared. I scratched. I shook my head in disbelief at all the little tiny moments life offers that we miss because we are so busy being someone. Not ourselves always. But a someone. Who others would have us be. We are so many Zeligs. But I realized that life is fair enough for most of us when you consider the alternatives. We get by and abide. Thus spoke zarathustra.

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