Gaining Ability 

I only got about four and half hours of sleep last night, but despite that, I managed to get to school on time this morning without frantically speeding down the highway. Somehow, I also managed to finish up a lot of previously incomplete work during the afternoon. Energy and motivation had taken a vacation during the past couple of weeks, but surprisingly, for some unclear reason, I found them again. I just have a few more unfinished projects to complete in the next couple of days. I need to print up a few photography assignments on the school’s fancy Epson printer tomorrow, and I further need to complete a couple of overdue life drawing assignments by 11:30 a.m. It’s doable, and I am still confident I can get it all done.

By 5:30 p.m. tonight, I was ready to quit working on assignments and begin the trip home. It takes an entire hour from the school parking lot to my front door at home, so the trip is a bit of hassle, but today’s sunlight and light road traffic made the trip home almost pleasant. Between stoplights and the ever-present muffler fumes from the other cars, I had time to muse over how I’ve really gained some real artistic knowledge these past few months and, while I definitely need to practice my skills a lot more, began to reflect on how that knowledge is getting incorporated into my current work. I only have to look over at some of the beginning Art students struggling with their drawings and designs to see how I have gained an ability that they have yet to develop. I have noted in myself a tendency to be overly insecure about my own abilities, especially as that may relate to a future paying career. Self-esteem, anyone? While I am not sure that being gratified at noting my abilities above the other students is necessarily a healthy thing, it does go a little way to maintain my confidence in myself.

But back to the four hours sleep, my being up way too late was my own fault for not turning off the television at 11:00 p.m. like I had planned. Cartoons and late night comedy proved to be too compelling. The afternoon nap I took yesterday did not help matters either. The cats like to zoom around at midnight anyway, so my being up late accommodated their schedules if not my own. They seem to like to have an admiring audience to their feats of destructive acrobatics, but don’t seem to understand that I wind up watching more out of concern for the objects they invariably knock over than any admiration for their capacity to leap from the bookcase to the windowsill across the room in a rainbow-like arch. I am sure that there are more than a few things under the bed that either one of the cats has pushed or carried away there than I really care to know about: a dusty sock, a toy mouse, a deck of cards, or a forgotten scholarship application for instance.

My graduate school life of a couple of years ago seems like a million miles away today, but I can still feel its lack in my life. I want to clutch its memory with a granite squeeze and press it into the firmer side of my heart, but it seems less like granite and more like a drifting summer smoke chasing its way out of my hands whenever I grab at it. Summer days must cause me think of grad. school more than during the darker days of winter for some reason. I am not sure I will–or at this point in my life, even could–return to a possible future career as English professor. But now, and I mean right now as I sit in my chair typing this on my laptop, I feel the need read a lot more often between now my next blog post, whenever that will be. I hope it will be sooner than next month.

16 May 2007
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