Sunday, April 15, 2018

And things of that nature

If I were a diligent blogger I'd:

1) change the look of my blog at least once a year
2) blog regularly

but I'm not.  And I don't.
Many reasons -- some existential some practical.

The existential.  I became a writer for the reason most writers became writers.  To be seen and heard.  And to make sense of my self.  Now at 64 I can say, as at least 2 presidents of these united states have declared, "mission accomplished".  Not to say that it's been all psychotherapy.  Between bouts of confessional poetry I've written some theater work and some short stories some essays and some po-ems that will stand the test of time.  (Remember my name remember my name remember my name.)

The other reason?  I am heading towards work in Le Public Sector and like a cat shoveling dirt over my feces, I am covering my digital tracks.  I must appear to be a woman of rectitude after all these long years as an accidental bohemian-without-portfolio.  Those who knows me now that would imagine I've said and done the things I've said and done?  Almost with no regrets; I am as much an anthropologist of my own life and behaviors as I am as others.  The life of a writer is defined by the habit of detachment.  (I'm sure there's an exquisite French word to describe the state of living one's life while observing one's life.  But, I dunnah know it.)

I am slowly, inexorably being sculpted into being a teacher and with that, at least in the tradition that I know and respect it means modeling an exemplary life for my future students.  I am going undercover; forging a persona, a way of being that I've had these 10 years in New Haven to practice and perfect.  And what is that you may ask?

I love that I've been un-blogging for so long that it will be perfect strangers and not friends who may stumble across this entry.  This is my equivalent of the confession to strangers when you're in transit.  It is sometimes, perhaps always easier to talk to someone you'll never see again.  Or perhaps that's just me and my love of the arc of a story.  One and done.  Unlike how one has to talk with spouses and therapists.  But, I digress.

So, my persona, you ask?  I am gray.  I am old.  I am sexless.  Harmless.  Thick waisted.  No longer subject to raging passions.  Safe.  Assumed, if not known.  Free to be radical, because I am invisible.  Thick-waisted.  Slope breasted.  Old.  Old.  Old.  Odds of leaving this mortal coil are high -- whoot whoot.  I can excuse every faux pas, every crazy utterance as nascent dementia, if need be.  Or, I can be firmly grounded in the World of the Sane.  My choice.

I am working in a public school now.  I leaped at the chance to tutor to see what it's like and to put what I've learned into practice.  I am working with 7th and 8th graders and I love it.  These little animals are on the cusp of the the adults they were be and yet still moldable.  They are beautiful in their varied ways, both children and little adults.  And I delight when we have an chance to unlock the mysteries of writing or math.  I am struck how much genuine affection students have for each other.  I don't think it's a function of the school's culture (although I may be wrong) but the clusters, the groupings in class and out are nothing short of amazing.  There are, of course, the outliers, the misfits, the prey, but much less than you'd think given our attention to "very fine people" and such.  There is hope, that a polity can be forged that will take on the work of liberty and justice for all.

Anyway, I'll be lookin' for a job in the local school system in a couple of years.  (Beats playing golf.)  And I must be straight.  This has been a game I've played since 1983 when I was climbing the non-profit ladder in DC.  I lasted about 2 years before I involuntarily cracked, quit and embarked on the life of the poet.  (Words no poet ever says:  The next round's on me.)  Couldn't stay straight for long then, and now must stay straight enough to get a gig in a conservative milieu so I can do the subversive work of educating the next generation.

Oh the life of a crone.  It's a great thing.  But, I miss dancing, I do admit.

So, to my 5 Russian readers and to any hapless folks who read this, adieu until the next dispatch from my middle age.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Thought I'd Drop By ....

So.  For reasons simple and not, I've not posted here in four months.  Part of me dislikes even this much exposure (20 eyeballs reading a post) and to come back now is to get away with something.  It's akin to singing in the shower, dancing in your room, you get the idea, right?

But having defined myself as a writer; a writer has to write.


I am in throes of my still wonderful job, and four classes away from student teaching.  I am working in a K-8 school for a few hours a week as I continue to process of "putting my money where my mouth is."  If things go as planned (cough) in a couple of years I will end my formal work life teaching in a school.  I will make a reluctant good-bye to my Yale colleagues and the work itself, and drew on everything I've known, been, studied, and attempted, and failed at to help some yet unmet children over the massive turnstile that is American inequality.  And then I'll quit that, too, and officially be retired.

I am finally thinking of life-after-work.  Don't want to travel.  Don't want to golf.  Ain't got no grandkids.  And a dream house is just another house that needs to be cleaned.  All I want, I confessed to a couple of friends, is to live long enough to use up my stash of material.

This is what it's like (at least for me) to round the corner to Official Old Age.  As usual, my physical body preceded my mind.  It's so damaged that even throwing off a duvet in the morning to get up to pee counts as exercise.  If a fire broke out in the morning I would be toast.  Just can't move that fast after having been horizontal for hours.  Oh well.  I'm still here.  And still committed to ameliorating what I've done to my body, and what my body has done to me.  That's a good sign -- it means that I intend to be vital longer.  But, if I've learned anything as I've aged, it is that to increase the odds of vitality one has to work (hard) at it.  It means that every day a significant amount of time is devoted to exercise -- for cardiovascular health, for strength, and for the cursed case of plantar fasciitis which began in my right foot and now includes my left.  (Pause for profanity.  Were I a quadriped it would be in all four feet, for sure.)  I am to get as used to those rituals as an insulin-dependent diabetic is to the needle.  Not that old age is a chronic disease, but as far as I'm concerned it must be engaged like one.  Daily effort; constant vigilance.

Between the last time I posted and today have been plenty of trials and tribulations, shoes dropped and so on.  At the turn of the New Year I took stock and although I hate to be made a liar by making resolutions on January 1st, I did it anyway.

This is the journey back.  Day at a, meal at a, task at a time.