Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good Fog.

This morning's fog seems about right, seems congruent with the one in my head, a lingering suspicion that something's still coming, that all of this, whatever it is, is not yet finished. The Steeple-O-Meter out the back kitchen windows reads about 70% occluded, but some of that has to do with the maple and pecan trees all leafed out in front of it, so let's set things at a nice round 50%: You can see about half of what you should be able to see today.

An enormous benefit of the roofed front porch is the chance to sit in a chilly evening, wind drifting the wrong way as it gets sucked into the building storm, listening to it rain hard out there on the front walk, on the magnolia leaves, on the grass, and listening to the center of the storm ride itself just to your north, thunder and lightning and none of the accompanying concern. It is increasingly apparent that in order to survive the days around here, some of us need to sit a while on the porch in the evenings.

And what is there to survive? We are not surgeons, are not firefighters, are not diplomats negotiating the release of political prisoners. My days drop me down into classrooms where I say, This poem about Adam Duritz, he of the Counting Crows, may not have quite enough at its center. There perchance may not yet be enough at stake, as we say, in your love of the nineties semi-smash indie hit The Rain King.

It is maybe just this time in the semester. There are other times when I am fully saddled up and ready to explain in whatever language it takes what art might be, and what it might not be, and on top of that, even, why we might care. But I am not saddled this week. Or last. I am feeling a little bit defeated. I have a class right now that I love, a room in which maybe even half the kids give a damn. But I also have some seniors who will not give a shit, and some sophomores who don't know how. I'm working on a new beginning-of-semester speech, one that will trace itself along some kind of "Care more about all this or get the hell out" kind of arc. But that's for next fall. For now, I am wanting only to watch the clock on the wall spin its arms through and get me back home in the evenings to my porch, my dog, the prospect of a late dinner with AMR at this refinished dinged-up kitchen table. I am wanting to watch the storm. Failing that, I am wanting to watch the fog.

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