Saturday, December 29, 2007

Keeping Bridges

One recent astute observation from my father-in-law accosts me. My in-laws are visiting us this week. I had mentioned that I hadn't decided on whether to prepare the abstract for the book chapter I'd tentatively agreed to write. He said simply: well, it's always good to keep bridges open.


I've recently been urging Rocket to be accepting of all her selves, to listen to them, not too hastily reject one for another. It is complexity that makes us whole. Who really plays one role in life?

And so, I think of Trillwing's hyphenation. It's funny what listening to our advice to others can do. Right now, as I shrug off the vestment of the seeker of a professorship, it is not always easy to see without bias, to accept without acrimony, that I still do love the academy, that scholarship is a true part of my being.

I am disappointed, yes. But then, I am sometimes disappointed with my children. That does nothing to diminish my love for them. [How odd to pose myself now as parent to the academy, I who have ever been its child, lavishing in its warmth (even when that "warmth" has proven bitter cold)]. Who among us plays one role?

I think of a line from one of my mother's (rare) poems ... and the parents now appear as children...

I do pass into the next chapter of my life, but (like Kundera perhaps) I shall weave an essence through it all that binds one to the other.


trillwing said...

The academy is in many respects the proverbial red-headed stepchild. We love the kid, but god, does he ever have problems, most of them not of our own making.

Best of luck (again) to you and Rocket.

Lilian said...

I hope the weaving is seamlessly done and brings these two parts of your life securely together (for lack of a more poetic ending).

Oh yeah, and one's gotta love the image of academia as an unruly child :)