It’s messy but it’s mine. All mine. I’ve been fighting a state of analysis-paralysis for days, which followed the syllabus nightmare. No, I’m not joking. Christmas night the anxiety kicked in and I woke up convinced I’d failed to get my syllabi completed and in to the department head on time. Well, that deadline has come and gone, and all criteria were met without a hitch. (yay!) Nevertheless, the jitters have been holding me hostage as I make baby steps into the next semester and two new classes to teach.
When I need a break from the note-taking, daily lesson plans, and power point creations, I step out of the home office and enjoy a moment of peace and domestic tranquility in the space we lovingly call The Reading Nook.
Isn’t the red cheery? My father brought the striped fabric back from South America. The neon dyes and man-made fibers and suspect machine-weave remind me that indigenous crafts are at risk of extinction, but I’m happy to settle for this cheerful souvenir and reminder of my dad. The chair was a hand-me-down when the parents of a childhood friend were downsizing. Their home was a beacon of stability for me for many years. And the oriental silk pillow cover? That came from a grab-bag of pass-along items from my favorite aunt. Every time we meet for one of our quarterly lunches at a restaurant midway between our two homes, she pulls a bag or two of upcycled goodies from the trunk of her car.
Over the past few weeks, when I haven’t been knitting or taking care of school business, I’ve been devouring wonderful novels by Luanne Rice. Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) would say that the novels are an escape from doing my own work. I’m sure she’s right. And it has to stop. I feel an absence. It’s the absence of creating vignettes for happy photos, writing a blog post, or buckling down with a bigger piece of writing. It’s like the space left after losing a tooth. I keep revisiting the spot where it used to be. There’s nothing there and for the life of me I haven’t been able to figure out how to fill the gap. Julia would say the first thing to do is to *stop* reading (recreational), for a while. But can I just tell you first that in Dance with Me I found a fabulous excerpt about literature that I’m going to share in class next week?
So if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, why I haven’t been sharing photos and bits of my creative life, you now have the full confession. Thanks for reading.