Thursday, June 21, 2012

Writing Messes

I just finished writing an essay proposal and outline.  This is what my bed looks like:


As I survey the papers and piles (there are more not included in the picture), I think about my undergraduate study in English literature.  Every night before a paper was due, I would either be on the edge of my bed or in a corner of my room, with books and journal articles and notes surrounding me on three sides.  The point was that everything had to be visible.  "Everything" meant anywhere from five to twenty sources.  So you can imagine that near the end of each semester, my room was a veritable mess.  Sometimes, in order not to disturb anything, I'd just leave everything the way it was and walk around it or sleep beside it for weeks.  What a crazy, crazy time that was.  I practically had an anxiety attack at the end of each semesterin part because of the papers and in part because of the mess!

There is one thing missing from this late-night scene, though, and it is my mother.  I lived at home while I was in college, and when I was up late cramming or writing, my mom would slowly creep up the stairs and sit with me for a while to keep me company.  Sometimes she'd bring me a soda; sometimes she'd bring me chocolatebasically anything that had caffeine to help me stay awake.  (Hmm.  Caregiver by day, pusher by night?  I'm sorry I forced you into that, mom!)  She'd also talk to me or try to get my creative juices flowing when I was stuck, too.  I never told her she wasn't very good at that, but she tried.  (How do you explain the philosophies of Derrida and Foucault to your artiste mother?)  Nevertheless, she did what she could, and I love her for it.

I just wish she was here now, helping me along in the wee hours of the night when I need her to help me stay awake.  Maybe now is the age when I should just go to sleep and wake up early in the morning to finish.  Maybe I should put the quiet late-nights behind me . . .  Besides, what good is a mom, unless she can give you an early-morning wake-up call???


Thing I'm thankful for: answered prayers

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