From what I gather, Gurbuz Dogan Eksioglu is a Turkish cartoonist, graphic artist and designer. He belongs to the Marmara University faculty of Fine Arts (if Google Translate isn’t lying) and this work of his has just captured how I feel about these past few weeks.
My absence on the blogosphere meant to trigger the presence and emergence of a real life that often goes without any introspection because of how quickly trends and ideas change online. I needed a break and I went and got it. The post which will immediately follow this one is a photo heavy one that’s inspired by a recent conversation I had at the beach with the owner of Mangenguey. She advocates doing nothing which is unthinkable but quite necessary. There’s truth in the saying that the body moves quicker than the soul can manage so a little time off made me incredibly happy.
Then there’s work…old and new. I managed to sneak in another trip to Baguio during the first weekend of the month. It was an exciting work-filled weekend that got me thinking about how wonderful it always is to be thrust into the new. On a boat, in the middle of the ocean, you learn to trust the waters and find solace in the body’s natural ability to swim when necessary. Just float or move a bit in a manner your body instinctively knows. In this new job, the ocean is but a metaphor. I’ve never done anything like this before and each work day feels like a romp into the woods where there are creatures and comforts alike. I really love it and refuse to talk about it until both projects pan out in July. In any case, I’ve been busy.
I’ve also been reading. That deserves another post but briefly…I’ve slept with Patti Smith (whom I ferociously guarded against the perils of saltwater on book paper), Alex Ross, Jennifer Egan, Robert Owen Butler and a few more authors. They’ve all been wonderful and instructive. That post ought to follow as well.
It’s the first day of school. I’m terrified to teach a course so broad and seemingly complicated but the sight of the nine students whose names I just learned today gave me such a profound sense of hope and excitement. I can’t wait for the discussions to begin. First days are also full of surprises. My former lit teacher called me to his lair and gave me an anthology. The Book of Love as edited by Diane Ackerman and Jeanne Mackin properly turned the guys at the office against me. They were all reviled by the sight of the four letter word and I was egged to try something else…”you do the geeky-girly look pretty well already so just carry something like Dune in your hands so the guys’ll say things like, ‘wow, my teacher’s so cool.'” —An entire hour of silly bantering with guys who were once my teachers commenced and it dawned on me that after a year of grad school and teaching, I can’t seem to imagine life without them. To extend the metaphor a bit, they’re anchors on which everything is held together firmly. The quiet conversations, shared meals and T-TH running dates driven by free Gatorade has made a wuss out of me. I can’t say no anymore. Plus, drinking with the guys feels much better. Less drama, more talk. It’s usually heated debate centering on ideology and empty scholarly work. They’re great to listen to and you laugh so hard each time.
On a side note and with a tinge of the cryptic, I have to say: It was great to see you in the department today. It felt like old times, really.
I can’t wait for Friday. There’s a shoot and an office wedding. The shower was fun too but that’s another story. In the meantime, Wednesday’s lecture awaits. There’ll be running again tomorrow and the promise of a real shower.
I know I’m too excited for my own good but normally it’s when you’re happiest that things fall apart so I’m going to savor this a bit before facing the music and coming to terms with the reality that some things might never be repaired again. Just tonight because today was spectacular…even the sky seemed to agree with me.
About this sitting tree…when you’ve stood for so long growing and stretching out of the earth, fatigue kicks in and sitting down feels perfect. I’ll always be rooted…in places, to people and things–to that which I desire and that which has the capacity to destroy–but just once, to breathe this air and sit calmly while the growth ensues…