Friday, October 30, 2009

played on a solo saxophone

A mood is like the economy. You’re not really sure if you’ve bottomed, or if there’s a way to go before you can start the climb.

I say this because I find myself in a year of great challenge. And I knew it would be thus. Or close to thus. As my teaching load has skyrocketed, my earnings have plummeted and so I spend free time trying to compensate for both.

At the same time that life at home has been extraordinarily demanding (see previous posts).

Of course, it could be worse. I could be sick, my kids could be sick, I could lose my health insurance, we could all be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions and the insurance policy could max out. Or, any one of us could be in a car collision. So I do know this: it could be worse.

But it could be better.

I reel back tonight to summers spent at my grandparents’ village home in Poland. There was an orphanage not too far. I used to watch these kids and think – should I reach out? Eventually I understood that this kind of imaginative benevolence was pointless. There is an insurmountable chasm between those who feel loved and those who do not.

And I wonder: could it be that the trial I had been following in New York has elements of this? It's sad (oh, oops, this post is already about being sad; let's say especially sad) to think that there are ravines and chasms, and one day one person tries to cross them and another day another person tries to cross them, but they never seem to be exerting an effort at the same time, and so it all sort of falls apart.

Things worked backwards today. I had enough to do a home that I did not go to campus until late.

The rain had stopped. My bike slid across a pavement covered with wet late autumn leaves.


Half way to campus, I came across the band practice. Usually I hear them when I am pedaling home and so I associate their music with the joy of returning home. Today, they are merely trumpeters and tuba players and who knows what else, playing (better than yesterday!) tunes from Miss Saigon. Song, played on a lonely saxophone... (played on a trumpet).


I’m doing a lot of thinking these days. Everyone does this when they feel pushed and plummeted, right? So I leave you with the photo of a heron that I spotted on my late ride in. My buddy. My solo friend.