Sunday, November 16, 2008

Looking Back

My life is so very different from a year ago. Yet, I was thinking today that there are some things that do not seem to change very much. I was reading a post of mine from nearly a year ago and thinking about how much of what I wrote still applies to me... What started me off on that was the sky. Today, the sky had a very wintry quality, hard and clear with the sharp outlines of the trees against the pale blue. I wanted to write about how much I love the winter sky, and I little bell in the back of my mind told me that was something I had written about before. It turns out I had.

As I was reading that, however, I found myself recognizing much more than the bit about the sky. I found that the feelings of that post are feeling that come around every year at this time. Once again I find myself yearning for my old friends, only this year I am the migratory bird, going back home... Yet, I know when I fly back I am going to miss all the birds here. I am starting to yearn for the peace I try to continue to conjure during the holidays. And that quote from Mr. Rilke... oh my. It seems even more relevant now than it did before.

Such are my backward thoughts. And now, my dear readers, I must return to what I should I am supposed to be doing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I feel raw and exposed, as if my skin has been peeled back to show every nerve. I cannot seem to get this ache in my back and shoulders to go away. I want to be done, to have these demands taken away. I want the members of my presentation group to stop standing me up every time we agree to meet. I have volleyed tonight between crying, and laughing, and sitting in a chair while I listen to people tell me about what they did with their lives, and how I should definitely be thinking about what I want to do with my life, and there are SO many OPTIONS for an English major like me.

I believe, like those people I listened to tonight, in the power of words, and the power of what happens in classroom. I understand that my path can, and probably will be, very twisted. However, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed thinking that far ahead. I just don't know what I want to do... And I don't want to think about it right now. I can barely handle thinking ahead to next week.

My friends give my great joy, however. It makes me feel good when Jenni comes in and asks about my day, and then kindly gets me tissues. I like dancing to Korean pop music in front of the library with Kacey. I smile every time Alice comes in and flops on my bed, and asks if I want to go out on a date tonight. Oh, I am getting by, Getting by, getting by. November is always a challenge anyway. It felt like November today. It was cold and sharp, and the sky couldn't quite decide what it wanted to do. Cloudy? Clear? Who knows.

And that is all I have to say about that.


Alice: Ivy, are you blogging?
Me: Yes.
Alice: Can you blog about my butt?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

I am at a loss for words. My throat is hurts from screaming and chanting. I was just part of a giant mob of students, something that felt like the whole student body, as we marched across campus and into the street. We invaded the Harris Teeter parking lot. We stopped traffic. We made so much noise... screaming and chanting and drumming and hugging. I can tell you this: Guilford is VERY excited over our man Obama right now. There will be no sleep tonight.

I am just so grateful to have been a part of this. I didn't get pictures, but this moment is something I will always remember. I feel redeemed. Yes, times have been hard. But this gives me back just a little faith, I think... Cynicism seems completely out of place right now. Yes. I am very happy.

And I am so happy to have a president I actually enjoy listening to.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Onion Layers

I suppose I am going down to one post a month. That is unfortunate. It's not intentional. It's only that, as a my studies pile up, I feel guilty writing anything that will not get turned in and graded.
I forget, you see, that I need to be able to write things, now and then at least, that will not be graded. Something for which there is no deadline, no pressure, and perhaps not even any logic.

I am so tired today. I am so afraid of going out of my depth, so afraid that I will fail, so afraid of making the wrong decision. I want to be left alone, for people to stop asking me to do things.
But I know that these pains are only growing pains. I am learning so much, about school and friends and writing and..... and, and, and. I don't feel like a grown up, but I am learning to act like one. I think. At any rate, I am becoming more and more familiar with the word "responsibility."

There anxiety is in the air... I feel a low, intense anxiety that has been mounting over the election. I couldn't breath for a minute today when I realized how soon judgment would finally be passed on who will be the next president. I never felt this emotionally or intellectually invested in an election before. Registration has also added another layer of stressful frenzy as we all try and decide what to take, and compete to get into classes of limited capacity. Not only that, this is crunch time. The tough last push of the semester for all of us, students and teachers I think.

Today I watched a group of children from my window (as some children do inexplicably show up on campus now and then). They were with a man who was helping then rake a fantastic leaf pile right in front of my dorm. Through the open window I could hear their shouts of delight and exuberance, and the rustle of leaves. One little boy was practically dancing around the leaf pile in his excitement. I was absolutely mesmerized by this scene, sitting at my desk where I had been trying to cram in last minute facts for my Biology test. More than anything I wanted to be down there too, laughing and demanding for my turn to jump. I was jealous of their abandon, and the intensity with which they loved that leaf pile. It was, for that moment, everything to them.

I do not have very many moments anymore that are simple and focused. I get them, little moments of pleasure when I am joking with a friend, or perhaps cooking a meal for myself here and there. But layers of complexity generally permeate my life these days. It feels like a gift and a curse, sometimes. There is such a burden, sometimes, in seeing so many different sides to things, and in feeling so many different emotions. However, I find there are some subliminal moments in realizing the complexity of something. The light bulb goes off, and I realize there is so much more to all this than I realize. Complexity keeps things interesting, keeps me on my toes. I think that is really what I am learning, and I think that is what is really so painful. When I peel back one layer to see what is underneath, another one awaits. Just like an onion. And yes, sometimes it makes me cry. At this point, though, I can't stop.