18 November 2021
today, until like march or maybe even may, depending upon the type of winter we wind up with.
and so i popped bingley in his spacebag and marched him over to the vet to get a tutorial on how to do his nails. then i called up the egyptian and we went for a walk.
the banana trees are gone indoors, because winter is coming.
the christmas ornaments are out at miss pixie's. when we entered the store, i went straight to a pale blue-green pink and silver striped one.
apparently, i said this one's pretty, because after circling the whole store and winding back up at the beginning, i went to that same box i'd completely forgotten about, picked up the same ornament and said this one's pretty yet again. to which the egyptian, watching me do this a second time, said, i think that's the one that's yours.
time is so strange. as is communication. as is memory. as is life.
on wednesday (WHICH WAS YESTERDAY??!!), i had the longest therapy session of my life.
texting N, saying i'm assuming we're having our traditional chat on thanksgiving, i realized it's not yet been a week since our last chat.
when i teach all the classes, by noon, it seems entirely inconceivable that i taught NYU earlier that same day.
i have one week of HU teaching left. a few more weeks of NYU after that, but it's ending. winter is coming and we're putting fall 2021 to bed.
good riddance, i say, whilst also quaking a bit over what fresh hell may await us for spring.
we never know what we're going to get, and last spring was so unrelentingly awful.
but i am breaking patterns. i'm engaged in a seemingly unending game of trauma wack-a-mole, but i am breaking patterns.
time's passage is boggling, but maybe also a gift, in that, if today really is thursday and wednesday was only 24 hours ago, it somehow feels like i'm managing to cram nine years of living into each day at present.
not writing, mind you, but living. living beyond surviving, which is progress.
bingley got his nails did. when they clipped them, little tufts of the surrounding hair puffed off with each slice of the scissors.
he was a good sport.
when we returned, claude was in exactly the same place as when we'd left. clearly we'd not been missed whilst out on our adventure. claude staring us down from the sofa, it was like we'd only been gone a moment, nothing moved.
11 November 2021
i need to be writing things that will be published and, yo, i got nothing.
today, i randomly ran into the romanian on the street, and i gestured towards the horizon and said, well, as you know, howard is on fire.....
it is hard to communicate the extent of the disaster, whilst also feeling like there is no disaster? they keep saying there isn't! they keep saying everything is fine! and i'm like, is it though? IS IT THOUGH?
i cannot believe how much has happened since last friday, a colleague texts me, and i ignore the text, because i actually haven't the emotional bandwidth to even entertain the reality of how much has happened since last friday.
i went on some dates and went to a movie. but i know that's not what she means.
my to do list is as long as a CVS receipt.
learning is happening, teaching is occurring (kinda), grading isn't even sort of.
today, i went to eliza's and we pretended we were in paris and ate all of the breads on offer. and i feel like there are more days like this in my future, and debo and garebear are coming to town next month, and the cats pile into bed with me every night, and things are mostly ok, which is a big, albeit subtle, upgrade from "pretty ok," but also howard is on fire and i can do nothing about it and i cannot protect my kids and, though it's like an electrical fence over which my brain occasionally glances, materially, i can do nothing about it beyond showing up and listening and reading and giving them the space to take care of themselves.
it is not enough.
but claude slaps bingley way less, so progress is possible. we are moving forward. this horrific, impossible semester is crawling towards its inevitable end.
and i'm sad i've not seen their face. i'm sad i do not really know who they are. i feel i'm failing because i'm struggling so much. but still they seem to be getting something. still, they tell me, they're feeling their writing is improving. still, they are taking something away from our time together.
i've been thinking for years about lost time.
i've been thinking, especially since january, since first encountering this sign:
05 November 2021
our students have been protesting for 24 days. today, we faculty go and stand with them.
the semester has been chaos. in ways that are often super wonky but also, because WE ARE STILL IN IT, hard to put words to. because it feels like the whole thing will collapse if words are put to it, and we've still three weeks left.
three classes left. because there's a holiday, an asychronous day, and then the last week is only one day.
which doesn't feel like enough and feels like entirely too much.
then we have three weeks to scramble and three weeks to decompress and we're right back into it.
there is never enough time while also being too much.
learning is happening.
teaching is happening.
writing is happening.
i second-guess everything i do, but the rants are suggesting i've done the right thing. the rants tell me they are discovering things about themselves as writers, that they are getting things from the texts, that the theme is helping them. the rants suggest that we were not wasting our time here.
and i do not feel that we have, but i also just cannot even begin to understand what has happened to us this semester. the levels of abuse that have occurred around us.
i thought the spring 2021 semester would be the worst of my life. and, personally and psychologically, i think that's probably still the case.
but this semester has been something else. crushing in way that the others during the pandemic weren't.
this semester, everything has been impossible. and i feel i've done ok in finding things that are possible within that and we've somehow, miraculously, done all of the work i'd set out for us to do in the beginning in a manner that has been minimally harmful to us all.
but whew lord. let's not do this again.