With classes over, work is just beginning--but so, surprisingly enough, is a kind of serenely energized, supremely dynamic sense of what is coming next, what I am helping to bring into being: a way of being that is better and stronger, a recommitment to my best principles, away from which fatigue has let me slip of late. Not an hour passes when I am not teaching something to someone, and I would not have that any other way: my best ambitions have always been pedagogical, and my best pedagogies have always far exceeded the four walls in which I find myself, year in and year out. This weekend, tasks that I thought would wring out the last bits of my energy instead gave it back to me in spades, then carried me back here to start sowing them all around me in a simpler way than I'd have imagined possible.
The best advice my greatest teacher ever gave me was Keep it simple. There is, I realize now, almost nothing simpler than what I've come back home believing. And there is almost nothing more richly multidimensional, astonishingly complex and challenging. What my teacher taught is that the simple is, in many ways, the hardest thing of all--because it requires boring back to first principles, to rock-solid centralities, to that which is so crucial that it cannot be ignored. What he taught me is that the truly simple is never simplistic--never easy, never fixed, never stable--but is always alive, always informing and informed.
Somehow, over the course of my Saturday (whose doings I can't really detail, other than to say that they involved fourteen hours in a windowless conference room in a distant hotel, the sound of departing and arriving airplanes regularly rumbling in from beyond our building), the back of my mind developed an idea that has already changed and anchored my place in this place--which suggests to me that my role here has been shifting and developing subtly for quite some time here, and that I had reached a point where I was ready for one last piece of material to arrive and catalyze this new solution I've become.