I know that the day should be over when I find myself welling up again, simply because there are so many things I'm keeping in the air right now. Soon, I tell myself, soon we'll go home and sleep all night.
One of the best compliments I ever received was from a former student who said to me during an online chat one night, "You know, you always ask, 'How are you?' And I always know that you actually want an answer." Today, to a one, every person I asked answered immediately, "I'm tired." The accumulated tireds I heard today made me believe that if I were queen of the college, I would declare a sleep day. It would be one random day in April, preferably a day when the rain pummels everything into soft submission, and the day would just be cancelled, far enough in advance that everyone could just keep sleeping and we could all have a break from one another.
I bury myself in the fact that they light up like little candlesticks when they work hardest at ideas, and in the fact that every single night I go to bed knowing something I did not know when I got up in the morning. I bury myself in the fact that our conversations get around to fine points of how and why to think and talk about books. I bury myself in knowing that in fewer than forty-eight hours, a crucial member of my group of long-distance superstars will be here, just down the road from me, and that I'll see her for several days and nights in a row. And that she's bringing yoga.
"You're not a computer," the last student with whom I conferenced today said to me at the end of the day. True and necessary words. Sometimes they are kinder to me than I am to myself, just as I am often kinder to them than they are to themselves.
I plant myself in the lowering sun's glitter.
* * *
And, lo and behold, here comes Keri Smith (to whom I have referred before as a genius) with exactly what I need to read tonight: a reminder that everything is a choice, and (though she didn't intend it) a reminder that I have a word for this year, and I chose the word "power" for a reason. I don't know whether I can do a mondo beyondo list here or whether I will just need to do one for myself but keep it private for now; I suspect that the things on it, and the ferocity of it, would put off people who know me in the world offline, and I don't much need that right now.