Wednesday, September 15, 2010


As of this morning, I’m once again a loyal and trustworthy employee of the state of Washington, committed to helping students achieve their educational goals and succeed in the increasingly competitive global marketplace of the 21st century.

Bully for me.

In all seriousness, I’m okay with being back; it’s time, I think, that I once again assume the mantel of being a reasonably responsible and contributing member of society. And although when Jen asked me “why?” I didn’t have a ready answer, it’s pretty clear that I can’t continue to spend all my time navel-gazing and napping before I just melt into a pile of self-referential mush. (Besides, I’ve got all of my sabbatical from this January to June for that!)

One of the books I read this summer was Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, which tells the story of a young American man, Larry Darrell, who returns from World War II, so affected by seeing the death of his good friend in combat that he decides to reject the pursuit of money and success expected of him and just “loaf” (he says), travelling around the world, first to Paris, and then to India to seek meaning and happiness in life. All of the people in his social circle think he’s crazy or just a loser and try to convince him, unsuccessfully, to stop throwing away his life.

As Maugham seems to make apparent in the novel, Darrell’s on to something; I could see spending the rest of my days “loafing,” too, although I’m not sure that I’d be seeking enlightenment, or even happiness. Rather, I’d probably be ensuring myself I get the afternoon nap.

One of the more salient features of being back on the job was noticing, in savasana today, that my internal clock was ticking away; I’m aware now of being on a schedule that isn’t mine.

I also made a rookie error on my commute: didn’t pack the raingear; got soaked coming home.


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