On sleepy Sunday evenings, it is helpful to remind myself that while a year is a long time, each day can only be lived once. Important that I show up tomorrow rested (caffeinated?), smile, and breathe. Important to set goals and work to meet them, push my students and myself, don’t shy away from tough moments, seek out opportunities for growth. Important that I see the big picture constructed from the small pixels of each day.
“If the product is the goal, then we lose the “we” in this thing we’re doing, whatever this thing we’re doing happens to be.
Once an object is made, a song sung, a story scribbled down on the back of of an envelope, it’s no longer us, merely an artifact of who we were. We become machines, we are machines, in our relentless chase to create the perfect product, make perfection a standard in whatever we do. We want everything to be professional, the new code word for standardized.
The us is in the process, the joy is in the doing.
A song is a song only as a song is being sung.”
— Michael Doyle, A Song Sung
“The meaning of a story has to be embodied in it, has to be made concrete in it. A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is. You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate. When anybody asks what a story is about, the only proper thing is to tell him to read the story. The meaning of fiction is not abstract meaning but experienced meaning.”
— Flannery O’Connor
“The only way to explain to you what I experienced when I first read Hemingway is to tell you to read those stories. And even then, you will read different stories. We may read the same texts, but the dhvani that manifests within you will be unique. Your beauty will be your own. If you reread a story that you read ten years ago, its dhvani within you will be new. Poetry’s beauty is infinite.”
— Vikram Chandra, Geek Sublime
I wrote about this before, but I need reminders from time to time. I crave tangible artifacts and struggle to let go and sink in to lived experience. There is joy in tomorrow’s Monday morning, sitting in a quiet classroom at 6:15 am, ready for a day that promises both routine and unique beauty – only to be lived once.