*NOTE: Since some folks read one or the other of my BLOGS I'm repeating this post I also put on my AOL blog: Confessions of a Madman: Insights into Living and Coping with ADHD.
Although today is the official beginning of summer she is already well established. The rhythms of summer ebb and flow across the land like tides of the distant ocean. The lilac blooms of May have long ago burst onto the landscape with their vibrant colors, spreading the message of rebirth with a virulent fragrance and then withered into brown, lifeless stalks. Lush and lanky, our ferns blanket the foundation of our home in an undulating emerald sea. Bob across the way can be seen twice a week dissecting his lawn with his new “Snapper,” carefully slicing diagonal swaths across his grassland domain. A family of sparrows that set up house in the vent above our front entrance have already raised and given wings to their first hatch. A few weeks ago the ravenous chicks were hustled out of the nest and prodded to the edge of the roof for flying lessons. They would perch on the edge, clinging desperately with their tiny feet, peer over the edge then scurry back to the safety of the nest. Like a carefully orchestrated ballet adult and chick worked their way across the shingled roof as the chicks built up their pluck to take that first flight. Now they flutter, and flit confidently across the yard visiting our feeders with regularity. School’s been out for a few weeks freeing the neighborhood brood to run through the streets and alleys with reckless abandon as if they are being chased by the demons of the schoolhouse and are wont to leave them far behind. Just last night, as a cool breeze brought relief from a hazy, humid day, I could hear the laughter and shouts of children echoing throughout the neighborhood.
Summer comes and I stretch out a hesitant hand in welcome. For this season it is as if I am reluctant observer of this most anticipated of seasons. As if inspecting a curiosity behind the barriers of a zoo or observatory I watch the season unfold from the solitude of my table, surrounded by the necessities of writing. I am held captive by the dastardly dissertation, mother of all papers, bane of my existence. With coffee cup and water glass at hand I am forging ahead while summer rolls into town. I shall not relent, shall not surrender to the wanton desire to wander the tree-lined streets letting the wind and whim of a careless mind guide me. I must take the advice of our fearless leader and “stay the course.” Keep my feet upon the path of PhD and complete the journey.
I cannot express adequately my gratitude to all who visited my AOL journal after my last depressing entry and offered words of encouragement. Your efforts did not go unnoticed. Those who offered good vibes and prayers must have been working overtime because it worked! A week or so after that entry I was contacted by the university where I am getting my doctorate and was offered a non-tenure teaching position. It is only for three years, but they have the option to ditch me after a year if I’m not up to snuff. So I have employment, health care, and won’t have to move… at least not right away. The university is about 90 miles away so I’ll drive up on a Monday or Tuesday and return home Thursday. I just can’t drive back and forth every day with all the teaching, office hours, and extra assignments I need to do. It really is a great opportunity, as I’ll get to teach graduate courses and get some experience as a program coordinator. HOWEVER, they really, really, REALLY want me to complete the dissertation before fall. So far I have written two chapters and am working on chapter 3 (have about 17 pages done). Therefore, I again thank all who have remained loyal to my journal and apologize profusely for not being able to dive into J-land and return the favor. It’s too easy to get lost in all the wonderful lives and writings of the many folks I’ve met here. I’ll try to pop in from time to time but must remain focused. It was truly an unexpected joy and blessing to read so many encouraging and kind words in the comment section after my last entry. You are just the BEST!
But now it’s back at it.
Be well. Laugh often. Play hard.
“May your life
be crowded with
-h. jackson brown jr.