Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sam is teething

Teeth Monster
What this means?  It means that I am a basic mess.  It means that everything else in the universe is suffering and the epi-centre of suffering is Samuel's lower jaw.  It means that we are all weak, vulnerable, made of very precise, delicate, and easily disrupted material.  It means that we are human.  It means that I likely won't give that great of a lecture on Islamist strategy and Strategic Nonviolence.  It means that I will try my best to secure employment for the summer and the time that follows this week, but it will be even more stressful than normal.  It means that I need a nap.  It means that I want to beg out of Worship Committee.  It means I shouldn't be blogging (even a long paragraph) and I certainly shouldn't be on Facebook.  It means that I should be thankful for a supportive partner, a great babysitter, for patient house-mates (who buy me chocolate bars.)  It means that we are once again buried under our weight in dirty clothes.  It also means that Samuel will have teeth and be able to eat meat someday and that I am gonna go take a nap.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Looking for a robin

When I was in Atlanta I bought a little stuffed "beanie baby" Robin for my Mom, who loved spring more fiercely than anyone I have known.  I forgot to give it to her.  The things has tossed around with me these last 10 years or so.  Sucked on by toddlers, thrown into toy bins, rolled into a pile of laundry; again, and again, it turns up.  It is a lovely reminder of my Mom and the way she clung on to hope and love even when her mind and feelings were betraying her.

The Sparrow in My Eaves

I first noticed her
               in the spring--
Building her nest in my
                 back eave.

Little and busy.

All summer she
                cares for her babies. . .

Bringing them food
               and helping them along.

I worked and played.

Without me realizing
   it, one day she was gone.

Next summer she'll be back.

              And I've made a promise.

 Mary Molyneux Hatlem

Saturday, March 9, 2013

On half-gods and vocation.

Heartily know,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive. 

This bit from Emerson has been running through my mind off and on for the last week or so. This academic thing does not seem to be working.  I have given much to pursue this academic path; I never gave everything.  I took long breaks to care for a dying Mom and for chubby kneed babies, to preach, and to start a Christian community, and sometimes just to take a much-needed nap.  I have worked hard, but I know many who work harder.  There have been days that I have enjoyed my work--in libraries, in the classroom, presenting a paper, chatting.  But, there have been more days that I have bitterly despised.  My devil is in the details--the footnotes, the grammatical precision, grading schemas, getting the nuts and bolts of the syllabus right, emails;  I have felt the sting of not being able to fit the mold of the effortlessly perfect.  I have felt chastened for thinking that loving ideas is as important as publishing ideas or for perfectly footnoting ideas.  I can't seem to ever figure out what is current or the currency I am suppose to possess.  I miss.  I try.  I miss.  I hit the target sometimes.  I have postured.  I have tied my worth up into a very small package. I don't read poetry enough or think enough.  I have gossipped.  I have competed over very small honors.  Sometimes I have competed with viciousness....  I have learned, but I have lacked wisdom....  This is from someone that has always tried to not make the academy an idol...  Who has at many crucial junctures put other things--other very important things-- first-- with my best energy.  But, I have failed.   I am tired of giving this chipped Shiva sitting on my desk my blood and soul.  I am tired of feeling bad for failing to render it adequate service.  

Half-god go!

I am waiting.