Monday, September 9, 2013

Back to the Future

the great interests of man: air and light, the joy of having a body, the voluptuousness of looking.
—Mario Rossi, c/o Wallace Stevens' "Evening Without Angels"
Currently sitting at my desk in my new room in New York, surrounded by piles of class readings, tweaking out on coffee-on-an-empty-stomach, and couldn't be happier. At long last, I think, the cumulative waves of anxiety (leaving work, moving, going back to school) are subsiding, and I can feel the calm beach stretching out, grounding me.

To be clear: New York and GSAPP ain't no calm beach, but the state of mind I've entered—the one where you're no longer wondering "is this the exact right thing for me to be doing?", because you've already done the thing and now it's time to get on with it—is a beautiful place to be.

Now there is a new city to slowly discover, and hopefully savor. New friends to talk to and wander around with and crank open your heart and mind. And millions of new thoughts to have, and interrogate, and turn over and over until they agglomerate into a project that absorbs you to the degree that, at least for awhile, you no longer care about anything besides hacking away at it day after day.

I'd forgotten that scholarship is a pleasure. A real, true pleasure. And to be inhabiting this funny space right now at the beginning of the semester, when I don't have much to do yet except go to the park with my books and slowly remember how much I love to read—it's quite beautiful. Apparently we remain ourselves no matter how old-and-tired-before-our-time we get. Relationships, careers, travels, marriage (marriages?), The Future: who knows. For now I'm still that kid in stirrup pants reading Beezus and Ramona all afternoon, not noticing that my lemonade is sitting on an anthill.

PS: Speaking of things I love to read, my friend Fowler just posted in his incredibly excellent blog, so we're all in luck.


Katie Renee said...

Alissa- I am excited to follow your blog and keep up with you. You are a wonderful writer! - Katie (Adam) Bangs

Alissa said...

Thanks so much, Katie! Now that I'm back on ye olde Blogspot I need to swing by your blog and see what's happening with you, too!

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