Here in library school, the mantra goes, “The first semester is hard.” All new students take the same four classes together and it’s murderous then it’s over, and you can move on to courses no less hard but allegedly less intensive.
…Was the refrain, almost a point of pride we survived, and kid, you’ll survive too. But the second verse is the same as the first, and of the same ambivalence-inducing character-caliber. I love what I’m doing, which is good, because I do it every day of the week, and if I take a break, sleep in an hour or steal an afternoon of Chinatown sidewalk gawking, I feel guilty for not working and anxious about falling behind, then berate myself for the guilt and hate myself for the doubletime demands to be made on another day. I have to remind myself to remember:
Take pictures. Slow down.
This was along a bustling market street with sidewalks overspilling—you’d never know it, but it’s in my remembering it. One of the best parts of taking pictures in public, people tend to pause to see where your camera’s pointing *what’s so interesting* enough to seek and save it, hrm, should I be paying attention too? Passers-by with bundles of vegetables I couldn’t identify glanced up. Huh. Would you look at that.
…Well, would you?”
As I shot this tree lichen laboratory, a couple with a small child passed, and they stared at me so I told them straight, “I just think it’s neat.” A few seconds later, they brought back the squirming three-year-old “I wanna see!” to touch the weird red bulbs of the tree. The woman pet one, too, her impatience transforming to perplexed. “It’s… *soft.*”
Seen at a Salvation Army.
Winter swim on campus.
Half the bones in my wrists are fusing, the other half, disintegrating. My mom used to say and heaven knows, still does, “I’m so tired I could cry.”
I wish I had more time.