Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Downstream of Time

Wednesday morning, and I just finished the last papers for tonight’s class and I have to prepare the class a little later, but I am at this moment tremulous with hope– hope that this high pressure, stressful period is actually ending. Andy has moved his office, although we still have a lot of his stuff in the back hall waiting to go to the basement. My mom has been visited, and now I’m thinking of bringing her up while Joel is here. I’ve got all three books in–more work to come on them, but the Big Pushes are over. The weather is pleasant , and while teaching isn’t over, with less going on, I can enjoy it.

In the garden I’ve been layering newsprint and salt hay, and for some reason that makes the garden seem far less weedy than when I’ve done the actual veggie patches first: maybe it’s that I can sit, kneel comfortably and weed a small patch at a time. Or maybe it’s just that the weather is so perfect, dry air and sun, heat moderate.

So what's wrong today? Surely something. My left wrist hurts from some twist I gave it. But I trust that will resolve itself eventually.

I have been thinking a lot since Joel graduated from college and plunged into his life, getting engaged, moving to the West Coast– about what is different now, on this side of life. There’s the loss of biological optimism--the youthful belief that however upset, bereft you are, the future hasn’t come yet. Young people who lose this often kill themselves.

Well, over on this side, the future is here, no longer imminent but immanent– and what does that imply? You aren’t at the pinnacle you thought you were climbing. Does that mean you've I failed? Is this an edifying question? Probably not. Most global pronouncements like that are unedifying. You're less special, more one of the crowd than you had thought, and I find this comforting: I'm not as lonely as I was as a girl.

Other changes in me:I have come to admire the practical people. I was seduced for forty years or so by rhetoric, by visions of Big Change. But now I find myself impressed by people who have actually made concrete things happen– the ones who have ideals but focus on doing something here and now. Who cut deals. It makes me a little sad: not my admiration, but the loss of perfect righteousness.

Of course single payer health care is the only rational health care system! But won’t more people be healthier with a better system, even if still a ridiculously irrational system?

I picked my first little pepper, a mucho nacho jalapeno. Beans are coming in. Cukes and tomatoes forming!

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