Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Art of Work, Play, Nothing

My days have been passing like this:

week days, particularly Tuesday through Thursday, are grueling hard work. Early morning class at SSU, exceptionally fun, but I keep running out of time for what I've planned. I find myself rushing with five minutes of class left, the clock pulling their worried eyes, and me hurriedly collecting and dispensing papers. Not how I want to end our stimulating discussions and creative play. Not how I want to end anything, really.

At Nonesuch in the afternoons I watch my high school students get wide-eyed about the symbolism in Lord of the Flies and the risque dialogue of Angels in America. I teach them the steps of good persuasive writing and get so passionately attached it's hard not to write their essays for them. I come home exhausted, with papers to grade and more lessons to plan. By Thursday afternoon I feel like I could sleep until Sunday.

But then the weekend descends---magical and wide open. I work on my upcoming article for the Bohemian, pull my confidence out of the gutter and give it a good hose-down. I wash the week's pile of dishes and take a long walk around the Santa Rosa cemetery, breathing peacefulness and repose.

Saturdays are for adventure! Yesterday we headed to San Francisco for twelve hours of non-stop fun. We hiked at Land's End, where the cliffs are eroding into the Pacific and a few brave sailboats leave the enclave of the bay. I love watching the tankers roll in and the birds dive for fish. We walked ourselves famished, then headed to the land of the self-serve salad bar and thrift store wardrobes, the Mission.

And it just so happened to be the night of the Lit Crawl, where all the bars and cafes and bookstores are tuned into the hushed wisdom of the spoken word. We watched M's long-time friend Michele perform eight different characters in a puppet show retelling of classic fairy tales (using her own hand-crafted props). I bought a book called The Art of Swimming (first published in 1874) and Halloween masks. And I braved the overheated cafe to hear five poets proclaim their lyrical offerings, each one different, each one prompting me to think, I could do that, I could do that.

But Sunday should be for doing nothing. Nothing is the only thing I haven't done in weeks.

1 comment:

  1. my, my Jessie you have been such a busy bee lately! looks like your reprieve in seattle last weekend was much needed and deserved! Looks like all your hard work really paid off though, so glad your observation at SSU went well :)