Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dramas or Indecisions, Visions or Revisions

An interesting intellectual experiment:  choose a T. S. Eliot quote that describes your week.  Do it each and every week.  How might our thinking about our week change if we had to find an Eliot quote to sum it up?

I won't be doing that, I don't think, at least not each and every week.  But Eliot's words have been circling my brain during this particular week.

It's been Prufrockian.  Here's my quote for the week, from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock":

"Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea."

I began the week in Orlando, relaxing in ways I didn't anticipate.  I ended the week by contemplating my corner of the Atlantic, basking in balmy warmth, even while missing the chilly temps that helped me sleep so soundly.

At work, we were going to cancel classes, and then we added sections.  I no longer try to understand the various processes that begin to seem medieval to me, this faith in numbers, but a different batch of numbers on any given day, any given hour of any given day.

At work, we have had construction news, lots and lots of construction news.  I'm all for keeping us informed, but some part of me just wants to be told the bits that will affect me.  It's been a long process already, and in truth, I've tuned most of it out because it changes and in the end, I can't affect any of it anyway.  Should I become in need of handicapped parking, I'll figure out where we've moved the parking places at that time.

There's been much drama when various departments wanted to use the conference room on the same morning; I slipped away to get a coffee.  Life is very short.

Part of me thinks, this much drama, and we don't even have many students on campus.  Congress isn't in session.  There are fewer opportunities for outrage.  What will next week bring?  I'm tired already.

And yet, I monitor my own interior, and I realize how much my brain wants to slip into high drama mode.  I have not yet mastered all my moods.

I have not yet mastered my physical self either.  My cold has gotten better, but I still have this strange cough, a rattle deep in my lungs, the kind of cough that startles those nearby.  Maybe instead of a quote by Eliot, I should be thinking of a quote from Keats.

It's been a strange weather/geology week.  We've had chilly temperatures here, but not like the rest of the country.  The county above mine had flooding rains, but we just had a brief burst.  There was an earthquake between Cuba and Key West, but I felt no shaking.  The planet has had a week of intermittent drama too.  I haven't felt severe impacts, so it seems more like the planet has had a week of indecisions and revisions.

My online class which looked in danger of being cancelled at the beginning of the week now has 16 students enrolled.  Time to start working on those classes, which officially begin Jan. 23.

My brother-in-law, who has been staying with us in our guest room while he works on getting settled into his new life in Homestead, has had a week of reversals too.  At the beginning of the week, he had found a place to live, but by the end of the week, he was looking again.

This week-end needs to be a time of mundane tasks:  laundry and vacuuming and maybe some grocery shopping, if I can face it.  Not much high drama there.  I would be happy to have a drama-free week-end.

What quote would inspire that kind of drama-free dullness?  Can we make good poetry out of that state?

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