Saturday, June 18, 2005

How it's going...

Who knew that two seemingly small glasses of wine could put me into such a drunken state? I mean, I should know by now. Really I have no excuse. Lightweight should be branded into my skin with a hot iron, or carved into my flesh by sharp exacto blades as a constant, painful reminder. I. Can. Not. Hold. My. Booze. I mean, I didn't do anything indecent or black out. I did cartwheels while watching fireflies on the big lawn with Tracy, Hayden and Stephanie. I giggled a lot. I cracked up Leslie and Niloufar by apparently allowing an errant piece of popcorn to linger in one nostril far too long. I told people I genuinely like that I genuinely like them. But still. Shouldn't I know better by now? is it worth the headache, the parchment mouth, the scratchy throat the next morning? Is it worth taking away the feeling of purity from my body? I still don't have an answer. Having run terrified away from all things intoxicating for so long, Bennington has served to facilitate a slightly more regular than usual series of drinking events. I have a drink a few times a week here, and though one part of me is totally resigned to the normalcy of this, the other part still hears an echo of my prudish teetotaling days, that piece of me not convinced that I won't inherit the addiction that runs in my family.

I gave my twenty minute reading today, part of the graduation requirements. I remember thinking that all the grads before us were sort of rock stars. They were untouchable, so far from where we were; they had learned all there was to learn, or so it seemed. Now that we're here, I don't know at what point we became these people, who seem so accomplished and smart.

I was nervous to the point of sweat-producing adrenlination (yes, I'm coining that) as Leslie and Elizabeth read first, both reading with poise and humor. I sat there thinking, "oh god...the audience is eating out of their hands, and then they're going to end with me writing about small family dramas, prose that falls clunky and sluggish on tired listening ears." But they were more than kind to me, and three of my four teachers came (Martha tells us all ahead of time that she has to choose, so she comes to lectures, not readings), which made me feel happy, as Sheila K. hadn't thought she would make it. But they did. Jill and Alice both in the back where I could glance at them. Even Betsy Cox had a nice word for me. And I finished with a flush of relief and emotion, realizing, "Hey, I've DONE something here. Something BIG."

I haven't assessed my feelings very well yet. I feel adrift in a kind of time-soup (I've only been here two and a half days). I don't feel the days or hours here the way I do back home. I don't know how long I've been away, or where I am in relation to myself and my usual roles and identity. That's common. I always end up feeling this way, a little bit lost, a little bit freed at the same time. It's okay with me. This time, the emotional drift feels appropriate. Two years are done. TWO YEARS! Wow. Who was I two years ago? I don't entirely know, but I do know that this me, here now, is the one I like the most. I know this self better than any other (and yet, I have so many more inroads to make into knowing myself).

I am not feeling anxious about my lecture right now, and maybe I won't have to. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the work that I will create when I come home and am no longer under the umbrella of mentorship. Who will I be when freed from supervisors and constant packet production? I will be back to my own internal master, will have to write and revise by my own rhythms.

But I'm ready.



At 2:19 AM, Blogger katie said...

ahh Jordan, welcome to my world (I mean, the drinking part).

Awesome about your reading.

You missed a fun night out in Petaluma. Come back soon!!

At 4:16 AM, Blogger Myfanwy Collins said...

Glad your reading went well, Jordan. I had no doubt about it.


At 5:35 PM, Blogger P. A. Moed said...

Why are we always harder on ourselves than others?! I'm so glad your reading went well.

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Amanda Rosenfeld said...

Congrats Jordie! im very proud of you :)

Much Love,
♥Amanda ♥


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