Last night was full of anxiety dreams, including the classic "I'm taking a class, and I haven't been remembering to go to class!" In last night's dream, it was a graduate level class, so at least I'm making some progress. Usually those dreams revolve around undergraduate classes, often Math, and it's exam time.
So, am I anxious? Or do my anxiety dreams come from watching the Olympics all day? Or having the Olympics on in the background? Nothing like the Olympics to make me feel like I've wasted my life.
I'm grateful to be a poet. I don't have to wait 4 years to try to do what no one has ever done before. If I'm injured, I can write anyway. Of course, poets rarely capture the attention of the world the way that Olympians do, but usually I don't mind. That spotlight is awfully fierce. Let me work away from the limelight.
Maybe I'm having anxiety dreams because this week-end, I read/scanned Cheryl Strayed's Wild. Her tale of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was both inspiring and exhausting. The part that exhausted me most was the parts of the narrative that described how she came to be hiking the trail: that self-destructive streak after her mother's death. I almost didn't make it to the better parts of the book.
Everyone at work last week seemed to be in different stages of succumbing to a cold, so maybe I'm fighting off something. Or maybe I'm anxious because it's almost August, and it's hard for me to believe how the year zips by. Or maybe it's because so many parts of the country are experiencing such severe drought right now; those pictures of crops withered in the field pierce my heart. I'm not that many generations removed from my family's farming days.
So we carry on, under a pitiless sun, unsure of what the future holds. We watch Olympic athletes in a distant city competing under a merciless rain (oh, those poor female cyclists!). We read of the exploits of others and hope for redemption for all.
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