The beauty of Connecticut fall catches my breath. The firestorm on the the tree beneath my bedroom makes me smile. So does the quiet hope that wells up in my soul.
For every exasperated sigh I swallow in my carrel and long hour with an un-exhilarating paper are a dozen moments of sweet smiles. Ideas excite me. Despite the realization that most people don’t care, I am incapable of saying anything about my research without getting all bright eyed and smily.
And when the brillant professor I fumble my ideas to says that my argument sounds great, the fire burns brighter. Likewise, I gladly give my time to the teaching that forces my thoughts deep into the recluses of my mind for reevaluation. Ideas are like that.
In the last 72 hours, a friend and I hosted a make-your-own gourmet personal pizza night, complete with fancy cheese, fresh sausage, jalepenos, and eight of my closest-don’t-talk-to-often-enough friends. Saturday, I drove to Providence for an ISI conference on the American University. I’ve never wanted to read Plato so badly in my life. I figure something like The Republic or The Odyssey ought to count as an appropriate beginning of the Western Cannon : )
Today was simply beautiful, and a few friends and I will be driving up the Connecticut coastline in the morning as we run away with every last remaining precious bit of fall break.
This overcast night hides the moon from my bedroom window, but with a monstrously soft brown blanket draped over my shoulders and the quiet beat of my fingers, keeping time with the Bublé in the background, I just can’t help but feel at peace as the dreams and reflections that can’t quite make their way out dance on my heart.
Providence, Rhode Island
I value eloquence, but there are times when the words stop arranging themselves. Instead, they stay in syllable form, sitting like coffee foam on top of my breath, hanging out somewhere deep inside my lungs. Naturally, you have to cough to get them out, and then it’s just not pretty.
I have tried so hard to get my thesis argument down to a bulleted outline form for months. My efforts to whittle the ideas that wow my mind to explainable concepts that the rest of the world can understand include:
- Drawing big pictures
- Drawing small pictures and assembling them so they make big pictures
- Color-coordinated notes
- Writing on my windows*
- writing on my mirrors*
*side note: for the official record I finally bought big white board, so I’ll probably ease up on the windows/mirrors writing.
I articulated a step-by-step argument for the first time at about 6:30am today–with pen and half sheet of paper I found in my purse (gotta write when the inspiration strikes). It felt good, but the coffee foam stutter returned at 5pm as I sat in Prof. Elphick’s office trying to explain how much eschatology, a rejection of feminist theology, the garden of eden, secularization, and the millennial generation have in common and how I am going to be able to pull it all together in like 90 pages.
Other recent incarnations of the coffee foam stutter include:
- use of 1,500 words to express a tweetable idea
- loss of melodic conversational tone
- over edit/under edit tidal waves (i.e. should have read that email one more time, could have sent that one right away)
For the record, I hope this illness passes like a head cold and gets out of me in a couple days, because, in the meantime, it’s really killing me.