Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh what a fortnight it's been

Home from my travels for two weeks now. Glorious lit-up days, swimming trips to the river, refurbishing old furniture, watching my garden grow. Late afternoon lunches and twilight dessert. Thirty sweaty minutes at the YMCA with a forbidden People magazine. My days spin about on a charmed axis. And yet---that little cretin, anxiety, ever lurking, ever resentful of peace, comes a-trouncing. She whispers to me. Shouldn't you be working on your syllabus? Planning your English classes? Writing brilliant essays about Cuba that The New York Times will trip over themselves to pay you for? Shouldn't you be doing... more?

I wake up in fog and while I wait for the sun to poke through, I lament being home. On the road, I should only ever be doing what I'm doing. I scribble in my dusty journal and I dream large. I let myself sit by a body of water without figuring out how to get across it. I get misty-marveled at the immensity of time, never cowed by its fervent passage.

I travel to escape anxiety, that aggressive little bitch who is never satisfied until she gets a bite out of my heels. She wants me to worry sick over my English 101 class at SSU, teaching college kids, oh my; I want to celebrate with wild dance moves that make my wood floor creak. She wants me to obsess over my syllabus until the letters run together; I want to assign Matt Groening's “School is Hell” and make cookies. She wants me to believe that I'm a pretender; I want to stop pretending.

Yes--- I miss being on the go, carrying everything I need in my back-pack, with all its secrets pockets and zippered pouches. Every last thing, from the extra batteries to the Bubble Yum, nestled in its exact place. I miss wandering into a cafe and hoping for good espresso. But I would be lying if I didn't admit to you (to myself) that I travel, really, so that I can come back home and start anew. Confident in my own powerful rhythm.

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