In high school, a rival school had a literary magazine called Erehwon. (Nowhere spelled backwards, which is a fancy pants reference to something.) Our literary magazine was called Silver Quill, to match the newspaper, which was Silver Chips, and the yearbook which was Silverlogue. (I had to reach under a pile of books by my bed to get the name of the yearbook.) The one I uncovered is 1987, the year after I joined the literary magazine.
In this magazine, the one from the rival school, I remember making a copy of a poem a girl had written. It went something like this. "I'm sorry that I haven't written any poetry. I've been busy doing homework." It went on, but this is going on twenty years, this memory. And the last line was something like, "I'm sorry that I've been too busy not living."
The gist, of course, being, that for some of us, living = writing.
Well, I've been too busy to write.
Too busy working, and watching Mary Tyler Moore (I'm on season six right now.)
Too busy to write about the fact that almost overnight I became a co-manager of Technical Services with my friend Jane, as our boss Eva left to join her husband in New Jersey, after the sale of their house. I have no more hours in the day, and my pay has stayed static except for the 2% at the beginning of the year which doesn't even cover the fact that our health insurance costs doubled or tripled. (Doctor visits doubled, prescriptions tripled.) And I do still work in the Children's department, which has actually been a saving grace, because when I need some air, I can say, I'm going over to Children's, and oftentimes, Maya, my excellent manager, will be in her office and I can sit and talk to her as I calm down.
Too busy to write about Charlotte Zolotow, an important editor and children's writer, a rewrite of a Master's program paper that I need to get published in a peer reviewed journal so I can impress upon the folks at PhD programs that I'm serious, and they want ME.
Too busy to write about the fact that I'm not studying for the GRE, because of course the year I need to take it, it has changed, AGAIN, and this time, big time. It's an hour longer, and they've taken away analogies, antonyms, and sentence completions. Which just means that the stuff they've kept will be more complex, because why else would they have added an hour AND given you an online calculator? (Yes, it's a computer test now. If you get easy questions right, they give you harder ones in that subject, upping your score. But if you get the easy questions wrong, you'll keep getting easy questions, which will sink your score, and possibly your boat.) The GRE is not as important for my program, the letters I write and the letters my recommenders write is what will get me in, but a good GRE score can be a tool for getting more scholarship money in some cases. And I know, if I went to college, I can pass the GRE, but I do need to prepare, and I do need to go over the math that I haven't done for at least fifteen years.
Too busy to write that all of my friendships are changing, again. It's the changing of the guards...Anna is in Russia now, so if I call her, I have to call her when it's a normal hour there (our time +8 hours) and know that she will keep me on the phone for a while, because, well, not many people call her. She loves it there, though. Sally in Michigan is acclimating to Michigan, so she's home less, she has folks over...so we have missed each other coming and going. But all of a sudden, Sally East End has a project involving taking books to Haiti, so she enlisted me to help her find appropriate kids books, so we're talking more. But I'm so tired these days that I don't want to work on relationships that aren't at least eight years old because I don't want to have to explain how I feel about things. Which means that I pretty much go to work and come home and read or watch Mary Tyler Moore. (Plus the fact that my schedule has always been best suited for friendships with stay at home moms, since I am home during the day a lot, and not available most evenings.)
Too busy to write that my sister is getting married!! Yes, my dear Bird has gotten herself an engagement ring and a mighty fine boy. The wedding is in August. (Yes, 2011.) I'm the maid of honor, so that has added to the stress too, as we try to figure out dresses and things. My sister is not one for chatting, and my mother has had other things on her mind, so I knew WHERE the wedding was five days before I knew WHEN it was. It's a Friday wedding, so I assume in the evening, but I don't actually have that information either. I had to ask my dad. Mom and Dad are in California right now. They spent a week traveling around, spending time with friends (had lunch with their future in-laws) and today they'll meet up with "the butterfly folks." My mother is big into Monarch butterfly conservation, and so after she went to a few workshops, they asked her if she'd help...and so she travels all over the country doing exactly that. Usually in February there is a trip to Mexico, but, well, things are a little dicey in that particular Central American nation, so they're visiting the Muir forests (of the huge redwoods) as that is where some butterflies spend the winter, the ones that don't go to Mexico.
As I go over this post, I realize I've just written the opposite of those Christmas cards that glow: "Our daughter just gave us TWINS! We love being grandparents!! Our son got married in Alaska, it was a beautiful ceremony at sunset, the seals were on the beach. Manny got a promotion this year, so we're moving to Hawaii. We'll miss all our friends in Manhattan, but it's an excellent opportunity for our youngest, who we've decided to home school. Did we mention that our son married a doctor? So while he builds his law firm, she'll be building her private practice..."
And all of a sudden it's quarter to eight and I need to get in the shower so I can get to work before nine. Say hello in the comments, I've missed you!!
3 weeks ago