Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The End Is the Beginning

It is December and the engine of the academic semester is about to seize.

At the University of Colorado at Boulder, my students have long been wearing the hangdog faces of exhaustion, despite their work getting better, more mature. In this dichotomy we find the seeds of the great myth--the self-immolating spirit that destroys itself in order to create. Artists, mathematicians (those most clandestine of artists), first-year composition students--they suffer, and then they achieve.

Rosanna Frechette, a performance poet and yogi, told me she vowed to avoid that self-immolation as an artist, that she chooses joy. At the short end of a long semester, joy is hard won.

As an academic, as a teacher, I know that the "end" of the semester is the beginning of another life, the life of one's own work that is often subordinated to the demands of the syllabus, the grading rubrics, the lecture notes.

This winter, the work will be Kerouac. There will be a book, and there will be a train, and there will be a proposal. Hopefully, this blog will be a refuge, a single gem among the primary sources. Hopefully, the right words will come. If they do, you will read them here.

No comments:

Post a Comment