thursday’s child

Thursday is a day that lurks. Friday is a carful of teenagers lurching around with all the windows down, but Thursday is an SUV sliding into a mostly empty grocery store parking lot. That’s how it feels this week. That’s how it’s felt all summer, really. Like Thursday.

Summer’s rolling on down the line in these parts, and life-after-grad-school too. That’s how it goes in my head, all hyphenated. I still don’t know what life-after-grad-school means or what it will look like, and I’m strangely ok with it. I have loose plans, but I’ve been living in a take it as it comes kind of way. It’s not my natural mode, but then sometimes it feels like the most natural thing in the world, to decide right before each footfall where I’m walking next.

I don’t mind these contradictions, which is its own kind of strange. But I feel like there’s deep processing about school-end and next steps going on that I don’t understand yet. My ear catches the occasional drum-thump that I know means an army rising from the deep. You might think that comparing my coming to understanding to the emergence of the balrog that takes Gandalf is less than positive, but if you do you’re forgetting that in the long arc of the tale, Gandalf is reborn. I hope that by the time I reach the end of it all I still think I’m Gandalf in this metaphor and not, say, an orc with an arrow through its eye socket.

It’s been the kind of hot where I’m grateful for the breeze from a passing garbage truck. There’s a slowgoingness to this heat that suits me just fine, in its way, even when I’m sweltering on my velvet couch. It’s been a summer for slow-reading East of Eden with some friends.Taking a writing class–this blessed one–that’s just for me, a present I gave myself to unwrap over 10 weeks with a group of women who are becoming friends-family.¬†Listening for that ping in my spirit that says this writing project is right, this application is right. Almost like a word behind me saying this is the way, walk in it. Sometimes it means I sink in, following glutinous paths of least resistance. Sometimes those paths of least resistance involve Parks and Recreation marathons and ice-cream-cone-shaped marshmallows. I don’t mean to make a virtue out of a vice, but I’m willing to see that not-overthinking is a nice change from my usual.

I just realized California doesn’t do cars full of teenagers any more. It’s safer, I’m sure, but it makes me nostalgic for the summers of my teenage years, for the hearts-bursting-with-adventure feeling of being young and on the move–anywhere. Maybe it’s because under all this stillness, I have an eagerness to get going. Maybe it’s because¬†for all my Summer of Thursdays, I can feel Friday coming, and I want to roll the windows down.

5 Responses to thursday’s child

  1. Life-after-grad-school — how I know that space! I think you’re taking to it much better than I did. I love the idea of your drum-thumps and what they might signal is coming.

    I’m glad you gave yourself a gift to savor this summer. I’d been wondering what you’d been up to after the last mad dash to the finish — this sounds absolutely lovely and a deliciously different kind of writing to complement the work of the last semester. I hope the initial threads that emerge lead to more as the course comes to a close :)

    • Sharone says:

      It’s truly such a strange space. I think there are ways I haven’t really been tested in it yet. I have too much continuity. I’m keeping my same part-time job for now, which allows me a little freedom while I sort some things out, so I haven’t had to do the job search thing yet, haven’t had to face too many of the NOW WHAT questions head-on. I know they’re coming. This continuity won’t last. Can’t, for my sanity, because why even get a PhD if it’s just to keep doing the same old thing?

      But this writing class has been lovely and a nice break. Locked up in academia, I get too teacher-y and too analytical, so switching focus has been refreshing, and I’m doing a lot of soul-exploring with a good group of people. Also, it’s just…nice to have a little corner of my world where someone else is asking the questions and I don’t have to have the answers. Unsettling, too, because I’ve spent the last six years learning to think of myself (and become) an expert, so it’s a shift. But a good one. These things are all so connected and the same and different.

      I hope you and O. are well. Between my unintentional summer hiatus and the demise of google reader, I’m still finding my way, so I don’t get to as many blogs as I used to, but I’m trying to rectify that. I’ll be around soon!

      • Too much continuity is just enough, I think :). You shouldn’t feel bad for having that to help you transition into NOW WHAT (because that question is so, so daunting sometimes). Soul-exploring with some guides also sounds excellent for this unusual limbo-y time. I was never good at doing that by myself, but I’d just moved to a new city and knew no one after finishing my degree. Having no sounding boards made me feel like a stray punctuation mark trapped in white space. Your gentler hiatus sounds much more desirable — and conducive to moving forward.

        I’m so glad you stopped by. Ah yes, the demise of Google reader — you’re not the only one adjusting to that! Someone else asked me if I knew about a good replacement, but I haven’t gone looking. I’ll take any suggestions, though.

  2. charissa says:

    I’ve been waiting for your return. I’m so glad it’s here, because now I know about ice-cream-cone shaped marshmallows. Now…where do I get them?

Leave a reply