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Showing posts from September, 2009

Axing Frozen Seas

I love Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis. Love it. If you're unfamiliar, the main character, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning as a giant human-sized bug.

I can't explain why this tugs on my heart so much, except to say that I think it's one of the most gorgeous, odd, true, terribly sad accounts of what happens when disease, mental illness, or addiction changes us beyond recognition. It's about what happens to families when someone is sick, how it breaks and remolds everyone involved. And I love it.

My students, on the other hand, do not.

They have in the past. I taught a class where they ate.it.up. and wrote about it in their papers and I could feel in what they wrote that it felt true to them, that Kafka struck something.

But not this semester.

"This story sucks," they said at the end of class today, after a week of talking about it. I wish that sentence didn't bother me so much. I wish it didn't make me feel like weeping, like a failure. …

I Don't Know What to Tell You. I Want to Tell You Everything.

It's been awhile since I poked my head up and said hello. We moved and it was hard. The semester started and it was busy. We went whale watching (!), and that will be another post.

It's late. I taught the third week of my night class tonight, during which this grown up accountant man said, "This class is like going to therapy!" I think that was a good thing, but I can't be sure. We were talking about childhood and identity and innocence and experience.

And out of all the things I could pluck out of the hours of my life to tell you, it seems most important to say this: I am, finally, happy. Really happy. Pleased as a peach to be in my life, not really longing for anyone elses'.

I can't explain this, really. I was depressed last year, and sick. And all of that seems so clear now: that I simply wasn't okay. Depression makes every moment into a brick; they weigh so much and take so long to stack up and once they're stacked you feel trapped and …