The other night, instead of going to spin class, I went out with a colleague who's moving from full-time faculty to part-time. Her income will be cut dramatically. She's faced this before. She taught at our school in the early 90's, in the hospitality program. When that program was cut, she went back to school, got another degree, always with an eye to returning to teach in the institution that she loved so much.
She always said she wanted to teach here until she was at least 78. I suppose she still can. She just won't be paid as much.
That evening, we had the kind of storm clouds that made me turn off all the electronics when I got home. My spouse was at Chorale practice, so I had lovely time to myself. I wrote in my paper, off-line journal. When I was done with that, I was tired, but I still felt like doing more creating. My collaging supplies caught my eye, and so I sat down to create what I'm calling soul cards.
I use liquid glue instead of glue sticks. When I create images with glue sticks, they don't have the kind of permanence I want. But, as you see in some of these pictures, liquid glue can leave ridges.
I've been keeping a repository of images: each time I throw away a magazine, I cut out appealing pictures and keep them in envelopes. So I began the process by looking through saved images to see what leaped out at me. I assembled my images and grouped them and started gluing.
The process is similar to that of making vision boards, except instead of finding images of what I want to attract, I'm taking images that appeal and trying to figure out my unknown/little known yearnings. I think of them as soul cards, rather than vision boards in miniature. What does my soul want? What does my soul know? How can I tune in?
When I look at the card below, am I yearning for a new house or time on a porch or rest of all sorts?
I was going to stop at 3 cards, but then the words on the card below leaped out at me: "Stay Hopeful," "Peace also takes courage," and "Finding answers." Not much mystery there.
There's one thing that came to me in my journaling the other night that I want to make sure I record in several places, so that my subconscious begins to chew on it. When I think about my future, my brain seems to go in three tracks: writing, academia, and something to do with a spiritual life. Any of these might require going back to school.
But what if my brain goes to those 3 because that's where I've trained it to go? What if I might discover other possibilities, if I assumed that any avenue was open?
I'm not sure how I go about breaking out of my brain rut, but I plan to try!
A poet, a scholar, an administrator, a wanna-be mystic--always wrestling with the temptation to run away to join an intentional community--but would it be contemplative? social justice oriented? creative? in the mountains? in the inner city?--may as well stay planted and wrestle with these tensions and contradictions here, at the edge of America.