Saturday, October 11, 2008

To tide you over...

Yes, I'm still alive.
No, grad school hasn't beaten me yet, though it's been close.
Yes, I have been sick three times so far this fall.
No, I don't think it's fair either.
Yes, I did get approved to take all my field exams.
No, I haven't freaked out about it (yet.)
Yes, I have created my first exam bibliography.
No, I don't think there's any way I can read all those books by the beginning of December either.
Yes, I had a lovely time when my parents came to visit, even though I had to stay up until 2 a.m. most nights in order to get my work done.
No, that "easy" extra research project I took on isn't done yet, largely because they keep adding more work to it. They also keep adding more pay to the project, so I'm not that upset, though I look forward to being done with the whole thing by the end of the weekend.
Yes, I have been knitting. Not much, but it's been keeping me sane-ish.
No, I'm not going to Rhinebeck (Wahhh!). But while I am sad, my wallet is okay with it. (I also made up for it with a MMMMalabrigo purchase last week)

I'll try to update in more detail soon. But until then, here's something I read today and was utterly charmed by. I'm posting it here because maybe some of you might enjoy it, and also because I know I'll forget all about it otherwise.

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

--Billy Collins

May all your psyches be mumps-free, and have a good weekend.