Tuesday, October 7, 2008


i remember a nursery rhyme chanted in england on guy fawkes day:

remember, remember the fifth of november,
the gunpowder treason and plot.
i know of no reason the gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

i am nervous--as an american, a voter, an educator. i am nervous for the fifth of november. not because revolutionaries are threatening to destroy parliament, but because on the fifth of november this country will have decided on its new president elect.

the past two weeks have been hell. with debates, poll results, and news stories focusing on the ever-worsening economy and the need for change in this country, i have grown anxious. this country needs to make the right decision. i feel as though we have reached our breaking point, and if something doesn't change soon, everything will fall apart.

another poem comes to mind. yeat's the second coming:

turning and turning in the widening gyre
the falcon cannot hear the falconer,
things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
the ceremony of innocence is drowned;
the best lack all conviction, while the worst
are full of passionate intensity.

yeat's published that poem in november. coincidence?

maybe it's the season--fall always makes me a little gloomy. maybe it's the political climate. maybe it's the fact that november, despite being my birthday month, has always been awful. bad things happen in november, and i'm always anxious going into it. maybe that's it. or maybe not.

i am afraid that our "best" will "lack all conviction" as our "worst" are "full of passionate intensity." i'm afraid that this country cannot overcome its traditional ways and elect a person based on cuontemporary needs. i'm afraid that we will make the wrong choice and will suffer for it. i'm afraid that we are heading for disaster. i'm afraid.

my fear has made me long for what now seems like a simpler time. i miss school. this side of the desk is great--but i miss being forced to think about things that were new to me, being made to read things that i really didn't want to read, and being pushed to embrace a new study, genre, author, field, etc. i miss spending hours upon hours at the computer researching this project or that. i miss trying to come up with an innovative topic for a research paper only to have it stolen by someone else. i miss the feeling of camaraderie i had with my fellow students.

i have turned to writing--or, at least, writing down ideas for writing. every day i think of some new connection that i could draw between things previously untethered. every day i find some new piece of a puzzle that i've spent a long time putting together. every day i listen more carefully to the lyrics of a song, the words in a movie, or the tagline of a commercial desperately trying to fill the void that has been left by graduation. i am so consumed with the need and desire to write that nothing comes out.

one day i will write something amazing. one day this longing for the other side of the desk will subside. one day i will no longer be afraid.

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