where do we go / from here
Thursday November 29th 2012, 10:30 pm
Filed under: jazz,seasonal,whatsnext Tags:

Apparently I was waiting for permission. The vote was yay, the trip to Paris was a trip of some work and much non-work. The book exists qua book. But, despite the trappings, apparently I needed to hear it from the closest thing I’ve had to a mentor. Or perhaps just senior colleague might be the better description. That in itself was rare enough. Hoops jumped through, dented slightly on the way through, but the “long, slow exhale” that had begun, with the edges of the ragged breaths of tears, begins more convincingly. And drinks again with a drinker, from a local adjacency, interested in some of the things I’m interested in. Chicks in black tights, alas, have their well known propensities, and her enthusiasms would normally be the point at which I withdraw (or, go in for the kill, in an earlier life). But instead I enjoy the avidity, knowing my discomfort with ‘avidly’ as a category now site. And thoughts back to the interfaith friend’s claim I summarize back to him what he says, but with insight – is that, really, my skill. My notes to prepare for the interview for this, seven fucking years ago. “Where do you see the field in 5-10 years,” that is, now. Where I’m mainstream and my work is central? Pretty much. And lo, it was so. Plus Paris nostalgia and a quick Before Sunset rewatch for the nth time. The 30-something passion of disillusion and passion more recognizable as the years roll on than the 20-something passion of 20-something, even while walking through Pere Lachaise and across Pont Neuf. The student who pointed out how many things about her plans and projects I’m forgetting, and the idea that i should just keep a file per student, and notes, as it’s all too much to keep in my head, loose and, apparently, falling out.

Now I, too, put things in boxes. Not just knowledge of them, but being able to Access to them was precious beyond words, depths and moments shared of past selves made present, of present selves made sensible. ‘Who’s going to ride my wild horses’ become ‘who’s going to rifle through my boxes’. And yet, they’re there (on tarps, mostly, though the rain has me worried that damp may pervade the literal, rather than metaphorical, boxes).

And again and again and again and again: what’s next. how’s next. why next. what’s next what was. how does what’s next change what was. why does what next matter.

the imperative to do the next thing. the demand to look to the now that got lost, sometimes, in the doing that got here.



There and back again, again
Saturday November 17th 2012, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Boozy,fall,memory,Work Tags:

Paris. I won’t try to summarize, to reduce and encapsulate. Formative travel half a life time ago. Pleasure and some days of work half a life time later. The general dinishment of intensity not a bad thing, I think, though one that worries me around the edges. A new manuscript library in a new country, not quite as bad as the tales told, but not a stroll, either. So now what? Beyond the dozen recs to write, the 125 application dossiers to read, the graduate seminar to teach, the speaker to choose, the major political decisions to advise, a reading group to organize, and emails to the world’s major libraries to reply to, I think I’m good. Lightly in cups on a rainy eve, Satantango to return to when clarity and urgency are up to it, Sir Nigel to finish despite lingering horror that someone I admire admires this book. Too much to say, really, in the weeks since the vote. Too much that’s still too close to pretend otherwise, but so very differently so that to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. So. Yeah. Right, then.