Enter the lion’s den

Life is great right now. Work has been quite enticing these days as I have been travelling more than usual, making connections and pursuing plum opportunities. Just Friday morning at 4 a.m., I returned from a whirlwind of a trip to Los Angeles to attend a pre-Emmy’s gifting lounge. While there, my conceptions of Angelenos was turned on its head. I found the bulk of the people I encountered to be very friendly in a non-plasticky way. Even the celebrities I met were pretty down-to-earth and suffused my initial nervousness at approaching them.

Yet an overwhelming urge to sever myself into two beings keeps the knot on the upper part of my spine jutting out, beckoning my fingers to unloosen it. Enter the lion’s den with me for a moment. I have never suffered much from a lack of energy, but right now I am encountering a lack of time, unlike anything before. See last time I was in grad school, I worked three jobs to put myself through. This time, I have one gargantuan job that I am giving 115% to and attending virtual school. As my fellow grad school attending friend Sandra V. mentioned in SoCal, it feels like being run through a meat grinder on a daily basis. I want both existences but the stressing over schoolwork and how few 30 days really becomes in which to accomplish all of it is squelching any words from emitting themselves onto the page. There’s no time for poetry in the midst of everything else. Ack.

Thankfully, there are remedies at work.

1. Time management is going through re-evaluation. For some reason, my setup of writing a paper and then watching multiple episodes of “Arrested Development” while sequestered from the outside world still does wonders. When I’m not fish-sitting though, I will be sequestering myself from mindless seductions of the internet. I have shifted my work hours to allow later hours of schoolwork in the evenings, since most poems reveal themselves in the solitude of twilight.

2. His banner over me is love. It took reading the KJV renditions of multiple Psalms, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and Daniel for school to remind me of God in all this. All of this feels tonight like the ultimate vanity of vanities and I am wondering why I am doing all of this. Thoughts of leaving school and using the extra vacation time to traipse over to London longer in 2008 loom large. But then, I think of my fascination with language and wanting to wrap it into itself to create something new. I think maybe the difficulty here is figuring out the why. There’s a spiritual intervention needed here. I’m not sure I’ll be able to teach later down the road. Maybe that’s not in the cards for me. Perhaps being published isn’t either. But then I think of the absurdity of the idea and my desire to have poetry connect me to the land of the Gitanjuli. I still think God is there in what appears and sounds absurd when I mention it to other people. I just have no idea of what the post-this is going to look like. And so I hear those lions encircling me, claws clicking against the stony floor. The golden hairs of their manes sometimes sweep against my leg, so close is their proximity to me. But their mouths are clamped shut even as I can see the hunger flaming in their eyes. They can circle all they want, but they will never devour me. He’s seen to it.

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