I’ve been away, so they say, but come what may, I’m here to stay.
In other words, I’ve been busy. How do you make poetry out of the everyday motion of the mind and limbs? I see no reason that I should try. An honest voice is always in song, eyes that look back only sparkle when perfectly reflective.
And back indeed I can look, now, after the longest three months I’ve ever had. Time stretches, it seems. When I was young, ten years seemed like one. When I was an adolescent, suffering made me forgetful; whole years passed in solicitude. When I was twenty, confusion condensed weeks into seconds. Now, a day is like a month, a week a year, three months a lifetime – long enough to sink into reminiscent forgetfulness of a
thousand memorable transformations.
Yet, nothing happened. I may mark down achievements, challenges met and defeats overcome, but what for? When the past kills the now, all self-inflicted medals die with it. There have been more moments in India, when I was traveling the mountains, than in two hundred sedentary evenings, but what are moments when compared to daily effort? Effigies of self-lore gone upon arrival; yet effort stays in the mind like a rock.
How then should I measure thee, three months of action and doubt? Perhaps by each droplet of difficulty made ease, or by the weaving this thread of meaning into the general forming purpose of life? One thing I am to remember in all this – that the way I remember has determined the quest.
But on to business, to numbers that measure our death, three steps out of a thousand heartbeats towards stillness. On to the death of poetry.
This is what I have been up to in these three cycles of the moon:
1. Second semester of MA in Philosophy.
2. First semester of BA in Psychology.
3. Third semester of Yoga Teacher’s Course.
4. Working as a SOA project manager.
5. Teaching Logic at the university.
6. Teaching a bit of Yoga.
That, of course, alongside all the usual hobbies and occupations which have characterized me from my beginning at thirteen. I should like now to sketch my schedule for posterity. Roughly, it looked something like this, although it had a way of mutating from one week to another, due to my own volition or otherwise:
: 1200-1600 University, Logics Lesson + my class
: 1700-2100 Home, studying Psychology
: 0900-1600 Yoga Teacher’s Course
: 1000-1900 Work
: 1000-1200 University, Seminar on Metaphors
: 1300-1700 Home, reading Davidson seminar materials
: 0930-1300 Work
: 1400-1800 University, Seminar on Davidson
: 1800-1930 University, helping logics students
: 2000-2200 Tel-Aviv, Giving a yoga class
: 1000-1130 Home, Yoga practive
: 1300-1700 Home, Preparing material for Logics class
: 1700-2000 Home, Reading Metahors seminar material
: 1000-1300 Home, Yoga practice
: 1300-1500 Visiting parents
: 1500-1700 Home, Studying Psychology
Now, keep in mind I had to drive to and from work, university etc. Sprinkle the various chores and errands that crop up in daily life, add the desire to see my friends and my innate tendency to pursue other hobbies in addition to whatever I am committed at any one time, top it with emails, phone calls and meals, and you get a very, very busy life.
I am hesitant to state all the reasons I found this schedule to be so difficult. There were, of course, surface reasons: The quick transitions from one thing to another, and learning how to do so many new things at once proved to be thoroughly confusing. The fact that this schedule kept changing was no help either, and that it was mostly self-managed really made it truly nerveracking – I had no signposts to follow.
But that really wasn’t why it was difficult. It was difficult because I was full of doubt. None of all these things that I did feel like the “right thing”. Not one of them. Sure, Yoga does, but only when I do it on my own. Philosophy does, but in my own way and not in the university. Psychology does, but… Well, you get the picture. This was an exercise in acting out of doubt (double meaning here); the main point being to try and figure out why I am so full of doubt – always have been – about everything I do. Even spending time with friends or simply listening to music is no exception; in fact, those cases are even more prone to painful questions than others.
The other reason for the difficulty was that this surfaced a thousand issues deeply etched into my memory and personality, which were not easy to deal with. This was precisely the plan, the reason that I decided to create such a hectic life; but knowing that I was doing it only helped a bit; I still had to work out all the hard feelings that kept cropping up. That I was very much alone in this was no help. As of late, a rift had been created between me and my close friends, which started six months ago, and by the time the semester started I rarely had anyone to talk to. This caused all sorts of emotional mayhem which I’d rather not specify. I am glad for the process, but the solitude made it that much more painful.
The first month was, well, hard. I really can’t describe it. I was running all over the place, kept making mistakes. I didn’t know how to to study, I didn’t know how to focus my efforts. By the second month I started to get my bearings, which is when deeper emotional stuff began to appear. By the third month, working through this schedule was easy; what was hard was what I was working through internally. I’ve handed in all my papers, gotten the highest grades, I’ve more than was expected of me in each of my fields of interest; but with all that, I’m left with too many unresolved questions about my self.
And so my conclusion is to keep this up, and I intend to. This may sound a little crazy, but I am not inclined to justify it here. A few days ago the semester vacation has started, and I had arranged matters to be almost as hectic as they were so far. Next semester I am even adding a few new elements, and it will be back to the grind at least until July.
What am I doing? Why? I’m not sure. I don’t know myself enough to answer that question. I am following an old instinct that will some day answer back. Its answer may be its own self-destruction and an understanding of past mistakes, or it may be a continuation and re-affirmation of the current path. But whatever happens, I follow.
Finally, you may ask, where is Joy in this? And I can answer that it is there. I have always had a peculiar access point to joy, and this is it, or at least I think and hope it will be. This lifestyle will make little sense to anyone else; it is thoroughly adapted it to my own conditions and characteristics.
I finish with a sense of uselessness and pursuit. The contemplation of death is upon me. I have been watching autopsies and identifying with the lying corpse. All this for what? Where am I headed?