Friday, January 13, 2006

Free fall

I am writing. I am actually writing. Already, the world feels different than it did before.

The process has been more difficult than I secretly hoped it would be. There are good days and bad days, and the latter have been slightly more numerous than the former. Every day is a new cliff, and on bad days, I am as full of fear as I have ever been.

But on good days, I can write three pages at a sitting, with parenthetical directions to sources I need to cite and notes on where I ought to write next. On good days, I almost enjoy doing it. Today was a good day.

It isn’t normal yet, this writing. It’s too fragile. I still think that it could disappear at any moment, which I suspect is how I feel about everything that matters to me. Nevertheless, each finished page makes the cliff a little bit smaller, which is something.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a horoscope I read the other day, which outlined my astrological influences for the year ahead. Virtually everything in it resonated with me, but especially this:

Perfection is not a value. Indeed, it is most often a trap, a temptation, and the worst kind at that. Because it's the kind of trap that feels virtuous, it can be a particularly difficult one to escape. And why would you want to escape? Unlike most other forms of escapism, so you can be free. Free is clearly what you are trying to be. Free is making itself known to you. Free is calling your name. Free is showing up in your life, your dreams, and rattling your planet.

The opposite of free is perfect.

Um. Yeah.


Caron said...

Does that even make sense or am I losing brain cells each moment out of grad school and in the working world?

By the way, your description of good and bad thesis writing days strikes a chord. I do not miss that constant angst. Seriously, my thesis drove me to anti-anxiety meds. Which is, perhaps, not a bad thing. ;-)

Hang tight, Vila.

Vila H. said...

Hmm, you're definitely not a Virgo, are you? ;-)

I can't help but observe that most of the grad students I know are in therapy, on meds, or both. The others self-medicate.

Really, there must be a better way...

Frank said...

Perfectionist. Sounds like a Virgo. Analytical is another characteristic along with the urge to finish other people's sentences. I was disappointed that the year-long horoscope required subscription.

Why does everyone go on meds when there's one in the cooler of the local depanneur?

Vila H. said...

Beer's always been my medication of preference, but it doesn't work for everyone, sadly.

BTW, an abridged version of the annual horoscope will be available to all shortly. Check for it.

(That's for Virgo, right?)

Frank said...

Looking forward to the abridged version. I was big into astrology quite a few years back. Did the chart and everthing.

Yes, from what I remember of the Virgo profile, those are some of the characteristics. Another is that the stomach is the focal organ (or something like that). I don't think it's a eating thing, but a stress thing. Like ulcers, upset stomach, or gas during stress.