Friday, November 30:
So this week had its ups and downs. On Monday I received an e-mail floating the possibility that I might be offered a spring poetry class, a course I’ve taught before and would very much like to teach again. With everything else in such upheaval, I had to consider carefully whether it would be possible to extend our current living situation until May, as well as whether I’d be able to continue emptying the house (this is going very slowly) and trying to catch up with 7KP (back orders & new production deadlines that are just whizzing by) if I added so much work. Of course the obvious plus is that we desperately need the extra money. But personally, psychologically, (and yes) spiritually, I wanted the chance to teach poetry again: my soul needs this.
I talked it over with R, convincingly I thought, though he commented that I’d go ahead and do what I wanted regardless of his opinion. And I called my mom to talk it over. My general feeling about these things is that one should say yes until one is forced to say no: by opening the door, sometimes the means to accomplish the goal can arrive seemingly out of the blue. So on Tuesday, I e-mailed a yes: I would be happy to teach the course if it makes.
Tuesday after work I raced to Bucknell to a poetry reading by Justin Boehning and Carolina Ebeid. A small group gathered in the Smith Library, where I hadn’t been in a good while. I noticed the old lamps had been changed for newer, cheap-looking ones. I thought about all the buildings on campus I’d taught in plus all those I’d had office space in, including this one. Both Justin and Carolina read well: I especially liked his newer poems and found myself wanting to jot down phrases and images from her work, but as usual I had brought my sewing and was keeping my hands occupied with that.
D was there. I hadn’t seen her in ages. I asked after B, whose father passed away just weeks ago. Of course he’s sad. Bereft. I’m bereft, and it’s been four months since I lost my father.
Work is mind-numbingly tedious, though I bring my best self to it and engage with customers as much as I can. I try to mentor my newer coworkers. I’m dependable. I’m good at what I do, good at a lot of things, but none of them are earning me a living wage right now.
It’s hard not to nap when I get home. I’m tired, my feet hurt–a lot–and often so do my arms and shoulders and back. Sometimes it’s not so much physical weariness as the overwhelming desire to be unconscious, to escape from so much worry about what’s going to happen to us.
Got an apologetic e-mail late in the week that the poetry course did not make. I responded quickly, thanking them for thinking of me and recommending someone else, a former student and terrific poet, in case they should be looking in the future. So that door has firmly closed.