a funeral in my brain

I wandered around in a cynical depression most of yesterday. Funny because I managed to function quite well even as I kept noting aspects of my experience which were confirming my own grumpiness.  I’m still dealing with it.

But, in fact, yesterday, I accomplished quite a bit.

Besides getting my Mom back and forth to a vascular specialist in GR, I completed an application for a college gig, emailed it off. I also emailed a copy of my CV to my boss and the chair of Hope college.

I probably don’t have a prayer of getting in but I was surprised when both departmental chairs of GRCC and Hope College responded promptly to my email. The GRCC guy said he would talk to me in May and arrange an “interview with the Dean,” whatever that means. I thank my cyber friend Ray Hinkle for connecting me up with GRCC and generally jump starting my cold education heart to think once again about teaching.

I am confident I would make (have made) a good college teacher.

But much less so that I fit in in today’s education climate. I am a bit too content driven and interested in student passion and point of view. Bored by bored incompetent teachers. Also I have a ruthless interest in clarity and honesty about what I am teaching and less interest in the typical pettiness I have experienced in people who are teaching college now. In other words, I fail to be that interested in office politics especially the sort that sacrifice any notion of learning or idealism to simple selfish career goals and short sightedness.

Not to mention a plethora of bad behavior that seems pretty un-self aware.

I told you I was grumpy.

I’m pretty sure that I have enough enemies (yes enemies or at least people who find my point of view inexplicable and given the chance would actively block my appointment and be very sorry to see me working alongside them) at Hope that emailing them a CV is a simple courtesy to the chairperson with whom I have pretty good relations.

On a happier note, I am renewing my love affair with Emily Dickinson’s poetry. I love both what and how she says what she says in her poems.

I felt a Funeral in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading — treading — till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through —

[link to entire poem]

I also finished Amy Bloom’s Where the God of Love can i buy diazepam in spain Hangs Out.

Bloom is a therapist/novelist who writes with the keen insight of both professions. I do like her writing. Her characters leap off the page as they wander through believable and dubious moral situations of betrayal, incest and hum drum living.  What a writer.

I started The Ask by Sam Lipsyte.

This is another contemporary comic sort of novel (at least so far, I’m on page 78). It is functioning as an antidote for my own depression and cynicism which is confirmed by the mundanity of living in a closed-minded religious deeply unconscious time. Lipsyte has picked up the rhythms of glibness of our time and paints a devastating and funny portrait that soothes my old cynical soul and gives it a laugh at the same time. Fuck the duck, dude.

Sample: (The revolting young temp Horace speaks to his Mom on the phone about his success developing a donor [an “ask”])

“Dude,” he said into the phone, “I just know I’m going to bag this old biddy She’s got to be good for some serious paper heroin … Yes, I mean money … Dude, I don’t know if that’s the latest slang, it’s my slang. We all have our own nowadays …. Anyway, I’m deep into her geriatric ass. I’ve sort of become her protogé. Her son died cliffsurfing a few years ago and I’m like her new son. No offense … Well, it’s sort of like base jumping but more radical.”

So there you have it.  I would like to get off my ass today and do some composing. I have been practicing. Yesterday I got hung up on the 25th variation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Played through it few times and queued it up while I cooked up Eileen’s supper. Also managed to practice some organ and meet with a bass player to help him learn some songs for Easter.  I am kind of dreading the next few days due to the continuing unpleasantness from this past Sunday. But I do like my job and especially appreciate my boss. It helps to have at least one collegial relationship left.

Man I hope I can shake this mood. Poetry helps.

Alone, I cannot be —
For Hosts — do visit me —
Recordless Company —
Who baffle Key —

They have no Robes, nor Names —
No Almanacs — nor Climes —
But general Homes
Like Gnomes —

Their Coming, may be known
By Couriers within —
Their going — is not —
For they’re never gone —

Emily Dickinson

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