[get this essay and all my recent writings in the book by the same name. download HERE.]
"In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine."
It is that time of year, time to say good bye. Time to close books and put away pencils and go on our way towards that "next thing". End of semester, the bell rings one long, loud time. People come and go like ghosts, it is over. We await the "new" and September when there is rebirth and the cycle starts again.
And that's how school is.
I've never gotten used to it. This saying good - bye. It is like a heavy weight that burdens me all summer, all time apart. Where do the people go that were SUCH a part of my life? Why this hither and yonder and higher and lighter? Where do they all go? And why must I partake in it? Who clangs the bell that makes all this happen and keeps the circle spinning 'round? Who wiped away my sky?
"Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer
vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something
other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us
which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which,
terrified, we defend ourselves."
When Tereza came back from the dance floor with the young man, the chairman asked her to dance, and finally Tomas has a turn with her, too.
"Tomas", she said to him out on the floor, "everything bad that's
happened in your life is my fault. It's my fault you ended up here, as
as you could possibly go."
"Low? What are you talking about?"
"If we has stayed in Zurich, you'd still be a surgeon."
"And you'd be a photographer."
"That's a silly comparison to make," said Tereza, "Your work meant
everything to you; I don't care what I do, I can do anything, I haven't
lost a thing; you've lost everything."
"Haven't you notice I've been happy here, Tereza?" Tomas said.
"Surgery was your mission," she said.
"Missions are stupid, Tereza. I have no mission, No one has. And it's a
a terrific relief to realize you're free, free of all missions."
I have been searching my whole life for "lightness" and I've traveled the world. Yet, I find within me, a need, a sorrow, a melancholy that aches for "weight" and community/people and things that stay, endure and matter. What I'd give to not go through "a course" with its 15 weeks and then the repartee. It is like death itself! What I'd give to remember all the thousands (I'd even venture 10s of thousands) of teachers I've encountered online or off - what I'd give to have them in my life and as a whole and not some light breeze. I ask again, where does the center hold?"The goals we pursue are always veiled. A girl who longs for marriage
It is the end of the semester, so many students coming to my office and then going.....going off to god knows where. Lost in this world's busyness. Lost to my ship, a fleeting memory of time and space. Lightness. Unbearable lightness. And one day I'll meet a student on some street with no name and I will not know their name -- only their face. I have to take faith that is enough. Such is the lot and the unbearable lightness of being a teacher.
This article I found complimenting my mood and the "lightness"... a good read.