Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Of Hope. Of Faith.

In reality I am a day off schedule with my intentions— rather than writing extensively last night I drank heavy doses of cough syrup—then slept like a rock placed under the spreading roots of a Japanese maple.
A random cold has attacked my sinuses. Heavy enough to repress the urge to move or think.

          Their confusions often confuse me.
A steady persistence weakening the will, suppressing the voice. One moment a slight whisper. The next a raspy, dry murmur.
Brendan turned four last month. I am not prepared for him to grow older—not yet. Logically, I probably never will be prepared for his transition to adulthood.
At the end of last term, I introduced Laurie Anderson to second-level English classes, specifically her “O Superman” performance. The results were not as mixed as I hoped. The target range of comprehension at that stage of the course should have brought them into the zone of understanding higher levels of artistic expression. The expressions on their faces however mirrored a puzzled moon.

Often students’ confusion confuses me. It exists almost as a resistance. An unwillingness to accept the unknown or unique thought. The more diversified the clutch of students,(gender / race / religion / sexual orientation) the more the majority of them seem to seek out a group commonality and group thought. Is it human nature to collect into one thought pattern, one network of acceptance?

Their confusions often confuse me. At their age, I sought out the illogical, the uncommon, the unique. I wanted to stand out from the crowd. I wanted a phrase to stumble across my tongue in a wonderfully awkward fashion and open a new door of understanding.
Image from: The Longest Way Home
I welcomed the unusual, the unexpected. The scenes which defy immediate explanation. I upheld the creed: repetition of the same is stale.

Which leads me to this thought: do I have to warn all classes in the beginning weeks to be prepared for a rethinking of their definition of culture? Do I have to tell them what to think? And for that matter, how to think? At this stage of their academic careers, isn’t this process a given?
Last night our neighbors released three paper lanterns into the sky. Temporarily, their faces and hands glowed with orange-yellow light. A sentimental rush of hope. Of faith.

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