Post-Graduate Life:The Long Home

Nothing has changed.

No, I’m kidding. It’s been a while since I’ve managed to find time to blog or write, and my life has felt scattered and unorganized because of that. Writing is truly one of my biggest centers. A focuser. And apart from that, many things are different–the biggest of which has the been the move.

Everything feels more temporary than it used to. More rushed. Not busier; it’s not at all what I thought. But it is less easy to define a day’s activities in a sentence than it used to be. Everything that happens seems to be punctuated with commas, breaths are shorter, and I’m looking around for what I might call “home” not just as a more permanent living place, but in the work place and other aspects of life.

Finding time to write more often will undoubtedly help with that.

This whole thing reminds me of a Christian Wiman poem I read recently while watching the Arizona clouds meander by in the West’s infinity skies. It was during a road trip with some long-time friends that this poem struck me with thoughts about home.

Home is momentary, a way of seeing, a sweet lingering in a cloud before it drifts beyond the form [we’ve] found for it.

Life is about transitions, I suppose. Everything settled is an in between-time spent preparing for the next transition. I used to hate transitions and moves and changes. Still do to a degree. I used to be afraid of unfamiliar places. Part of me still is. It’s the part of me that looks, or hopes to find the same shape in the cloud I just saw. And it’s the same part of me that not only misses that shape but also wants to move on too. Get things over with.

But things are never over with.

The cloud is still there, and there’s a new shape, and it’s made up of all the same principles, and even (in my case for now) people.

So home is a thing of fine fluidity, and transitions are adventures.

And no matter how melancholy it may seem, things were never meant to stay the same. Life has as many metaphors as it has transitions, so I won’t go on. But I look around me, and I find that all the things that have remained the same are the things that count most, that will hopefully never change.

One of these is writing, and I will have to adapt to different schedules, write in smaller places–create as fiercely as ever. Oh, and on the best days I’ll have to share them here with you all.

There are still so many more words to be written and to be read. So many more adventures to have.

I have an aphorism artfully written on a board I keep with me. It says: “Life is a novel. Let God be the novelist.” There’s more to be said about that metaphor–stuff about characters and about freewill. But sometimes I’ll say it to myself, and I like to let it hang in the air and be what it is.

And I feel at home.


Let’s Go!

Photoshop Design project: We were asked to link a phrase and image that were not intended to connect in order to alter the meaning. I was going for humorous,wondering what e. e. cummings would think of one of his most famous lines as linked to bovine ambitions. It’s not really a project worth any of the skills I’ve picked up in this class, but we just started moving into images with text to form meaning, so the exercise is appropriate.

Exercises are great. This took me about two minutes.

Exercises are great. This took me about two minutes. Easy points!

Let’s be honest…the grass does always look greener on the other side, and right now, with graduation just over that white picket fence, I’m trying to figure out whether the grass is real or just a photoshop altered mirage.

I hear people saying that these college days are the golden days, the sunniest days. It never gets any better than this! Granted, these maxims mainly come from faculty who never really left college in the first place, and from where they sit it just isn’t as fun as it used to be.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Hopefully. Now that I’m ed-u-ma-cated I should have the wits to find some of that grass. Even for a poor writing major with no street compass. I should have the guts to do a bit of exploring.

Sure, I’ll hop that fence with style and take whatever leafy green shoots I can find…Nope.

I’ll probably trip up and land on my face, feet tangled in the place I just left. Most events in life happen that way. The good thing about the ground is that’s where the grass is. (that’s the sound of a metaphor stretching to its ripping point).

Hopefully God has it in mind to smile ruefully and let me trip my way into a green patch. I’ll keep faith in the suspicion that the best things in life happen because of our blunderings and his design. It’s wonderfully humbling, but it’s no wonder Scripture constantly compares us people to livestock.

“Golden days” probably has more to do with one’s eagerness and earnestly and less to do with actual circumstances.  That’s what I love about this line from e. e. cummings that I plastered on a Google image of cows. The eagerness. The excitement about whatever the hell is over there we don’t know let’s go.

I love cummings’ use — or lack of — punctuation. It’s a small gesture that creates an entire style, and, as readers, we feel the excitement of it. There’s no time for commas or periods! Let’s go go go! (Cows wouldn’t know how to use punctuation either, so you see how this is all coming together).

I guess I can’t speak with any integrity about the woes of the daily grind when I’m used to the twists and surprises of college. Keeps me sharp. Can’t complain now, and maybe I won’t complain then when I’m munching on grass that’s exactly the same shade of green as the stuff I just left. That’s pretty green. Bitter on occasion, but, hey, it’s not worse and it’s not bad.