This was exactly what Professor Yip meant by being detached — not being without emotion or feeling, but being one in whom feeling was not sticky or blocked. Therefore in order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.
Pratyahara and pencils populate my thoughts today. Back to school, I can smell the freshly sharpened pencils—not that anyone sharpens pencils in my college classes so much. The sensory memory recalls the time of year: fall, school, endings, beginnings and lifelong learning. Cycles that inspire.
Inspiration arises in peculiar places. During a particularly dry creativity spell, I sat through the annual English department meeting last week at school, my employer, and felt a sudden spark. It was midway through a workshop on workshopping (silly sounding but fruitful) when I began to write about…
I cannot recall the last time I sharpened pencils, yet I smell them.
Crayons disappeared from the house five years ago when the kids stopped using them, schools dumping color-in-the-lines after fifth grade. But I can almost feel their waxy paraffin between my thumb and forefinger, leaving that oily residue that stays way long.
Like a return to the new, the school year starts in the season of dying.
The dissonance, I sense it like spasmodic leg quaking that tremulates chairs while calming nerves.
“It’s show time!” I mimic the movie star’s manic Joker’s smile as I fly out the door. No chorus line.
Yet not the performance but the insistence that erodes: “Wake up!!” I want to jolt them in stentorian holler as my head spins and spits pea soup—in a virtual world they recognize.
In real time, I merely cajole, advise, admonish and filibuster, all for their awakening to themselves, their process and their world, adrift in someone else’s expectation.
“What I propose, therefore, is very simple: it is nothing more than to think what we are doing.”
Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition