Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What Most Distracts/Feeds You

This morning's post may be more disjointed than usual.  I got home last night close to 9 p.m.  I needed to stay for an evening PAC meeting, and unlike last week's PAC meetings at a different campus, I stayed late to help with clean up.  It was a dinner meeting, so there was more clean up than with a coffee and dessert meeting.

As with many meetings in my life, it was a meeting more for others than for me--I already knew much of the information presented.  And my frustration with many meetings these days:  it was great to talk about possible solutions to issues, but frustrating knowing that we have so little ability to pursue most of them.  If we change a major element of a Program that's on more than one campus, we need all the campuses on board--even for something that should be simple, like a book change.

Of course, those of you in academia know that a book change is never simple, if it involves more than one person.

Yesterday I was late to our online journaling class that meets in real time once a week by way of a Zoom meeting on Facebook.  It's one of the few meetings where I wish we could go longer.

I spent the whole day thinking I would have time to sketch in response to the sketches of others and the Joyce Rupp book my online journaling class is using.  But it wasn't that kind of day.

When I got home, I was exhausted--but that too tired to fall asleep right away kind of exhausted.  I had already written my poem for the day, but I hadn't sketched (when I started this class, I hadn't realized I would feel like I should sketch every day).  I decided to make a quick sketch, the answer to the question on p. 48: "What most distracts you and keeps you from listening to the deeper part of your life?"

That image might look like I have lots of extra hours in the day.  Last night, I was wishing that I did have lots of hours in the day--part of me wanted to sleep, and part of me wanted to stay awake, writing and sketching and listening to old songs from my past.

I spent a lot of the week-end doing just that, which made me yearn for more.  On Saturday, I went looking for the original version of a Paul Simon song, I was listening to Simon's new album, which sent me on a quest for the original "How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns." I had forgotten that the song came from the One Trick Pony record. Long ago, I checked out the record from the Knoxville public library and taped it and listened to it all through the school year. Why did this song about "the bag of tricks it takes to get me through my working days" resonate so much with my teenage self?

I also went down a Muppet Movie rabbit hole.  Early on Saturday morning, I listened to this episode of "Fresh Air" where Terry Gross interviews Brian May--there's a snippet at about 28 minutes in where the Muppets do "Bohemian Rhapsody"--I haven't laughed that much in weeks.

That episode also sent me on a quest for Queen recordings available on the radio, which reminded me of high school too, which meant that I improbably finished the week-end on Sunday night, listening to the music of Chariots of Fire, many of which had clips from the movie.  Yesterday, as I moved through my endless day, I had lots of music in my head.

Today will be another long day.  I am taking days off next week--a full Thanksgiving week of vacation.  I am more than ready.

As I was trying to decide how to title this blog post, I thought about that part of the question, what distracts you.  But I also realized, looking back on this post, that what distracts me is also a component of what feeds me.  Hmm.  This journaling class is giving me lots to ponder--more than I dared hope!

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