I like to read the 400 Words, a blog that collects mostly the life stories (or snippets of such) in four hundred word essays submitted by its readers. This one struck me in a dark way. It’s about how this woman is a mother and a grad student – a grad student entranced by the lure of the intellectual elite. The essay for me sparks the tone the aloofness, and every notion about how academics might truly just live in ivory towers, that I dislike so much.
But in those brief moments of self-consciousness, when the music in my head took pause, I could feel the ridicule of a younger student…the transparency of my idiocy. I had been whispering some nonsense aloud. I bit my lip so hard it began to bleed. But soon none of it would matter. The post-rock in my ear would revive my belief in an ideal truth, and the importance of aiming toward it.
I think this whole essay is a summation of my fear of losing sight of whatever reality is beyond what you construct in your own mind. I think the author realises that too after her daughter asks her to join in dancing,
“She wanted me to join her, but I couldn’t fain interest in being silly. My thoughts swirled around the book I hoped to write one day about becoming a mother. My insights on the subject were entirely theoretical. Then I caught a glimpse of her slow squat followed by an awkward spin. She made me smile and forget myself.
My pie was sweet, my house was warm. Yet my lack of contentment with such mundane accomplishments drove the flux between my inadequacy in any single role, and my purpose.”
I wonder how exactly to retain that balance between the flux because I truly must believe, if I believe anything at all, that there is a path to that balance. It’s on the darker days that I’m just not sure if the idea of balance exists at all.
Happy Veteran’s Day.