which means three 75 minute periods of intense performance and intellectual engagement punctuated by one brisk walk through high winds to a bus stop and multiple brief periods of lolly-gagging in various hallways and lobbies.
i feel like there was once some actor famous for having worked two different shows/theaters in a single night. they would do one show at the first theater then high-tail it across town (nyc? london? idk.) and go straight into their next show at the other theater.
who was this?? if you know, tell me. google yields nothing, and i'm beginning to wonder if this is a story i made for myself long ago so that i could find comfort in it now. the machinations of time are such that that doesn't ring entirely impossible.
today, in class 1, we discussed an article from the year of our lord 2015. we discussed how that was then and this is now, and the things that were true then mayn't be accurate assessments now.
in 2015, this article argued, we'd reached peak civilization, with oodles of time and not a lot of problems.
in 2020, whew lawd, we got problems, no?!
my students remind me they didn't really know what was going on in 2015. they were only 14. i, of course, was a fully sentient, aware human adult aged 34.
my vibe is, currently, bohemian disco broadway chic/jan's aunt jenny. simply by that fact alone, i appear to not be 19. my students seem to imagine we are somehow of the same generation though, so i guess they maybe have me pegged somewhere around 27/28, which does possibly speak to the anti-aging properties of funky fashions, childlessness, and early eye cream usage as well as our ongoing cultural confusion around the term millennial.
these are the 9/11 babies. the kids born in 2001-2002, for whom 9/11 is a historical event, not a lived experience. and, let me tell you, that is a wild ride, overhearing students attempting to imagine what it must have been like to be alive for something for which you were not only alive but also an adult.
i feel, at once, 38, 400, and eternally 12.
in the afternoon shows, we're talking about drafts and the writing process. which reminds me there's so much i'm not writing right now, a circumstance about which i also feel bizarrely ok for the moment.
it's the new zen me, yo! turns out, having a permanent home is pretty key to feeling human, feeling safe.
that probably sounds stupidly obvious, especially if you've not been forced to pick up sticks and leave a place you love.
in the shape of a pocket, john berger writes…
The mouse enters the cage to take a bite. No sooner does he touch the morsel with his teeth, than the trip wire releases the door and it slams shut behind him, before he can turn his head.
It takes a mouse several hours to realise that he is a prisoner, unhurt, in a cage measuring 18cm. by 9cm. After that, something in him never stops trembling.
reading this on a train in london in 2017, it struck me as being about immigration. (the shitshow in london has my john berger library, so i've no idea what the actual context of this anecdote is.)
i think about this story most days. i feel this way most days. but it does get better, eventually, i think. i hope. or, maybe, one just grows so accustomed to the trembling that there comes a point where it is possible to eek out a bit of peace and be still within it.