Saturday, February 09, 2008

Wandering mind.

Pretty much from the moment I awoke this morning, I knew it would be a day for rambling: the sun was already high, the sky blue and the air clear; my mind was hungry and restless and wanted to stretch limbs and run laps and collect things and move other things around and generally behave in irrepressible fashion.

I am steeping a couple of small side projects, and today's wanderings and thinkings contributed to their progress. In a longer view, I seem to be casting my mind ahead to the 2009-10 school year, which will (I think) be the next time I'll teach my autobiography class, something I've not done for three years. This time around, I'm conceiving of it as having a much tighter chronological focus, one that kicks it off no earlier than, say, Stein's Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas and thus makes it possible to come up to things just published. When last I taught the class, Persepolis's second volume had just come out in English and only volume one was in paperback already; when I next teach it, both the memoir and the film will be available. It's been a long time since I've really wanted to teach this class, so to feel excited about it is excellent indeed.

Today I've been dreaming of walking the Fens. Tonight I'm starting to dream about retracing some steps (which were themselves retracings), camera in hand. When I left home to come here, I didn't realize that I would come to love this part of the country. How could I have? I didn't know anything about this part of the country. But now East Anglia, woven through with water, layered under with eels, flat as anything and skyed wide and big, has my heart. It's possible that I really am going to have to hire a cycle for the rest of the year.

Here's what the moon, in part and in full, looked like this evening as I walked westward. I didn't even doctor this image for you--other than by cropping out some of the immense sky.


Anonymous MG said...

East Anglia, fens, eels - have you read Graham Swift's Waterland? It's darker and more somber than your year has been, but your post reminded me of the book...

10:52 AM, February 11, 2008  
Blogger Dr. S said...

I *have* read Waterland, earlier this year. A former student recommended it to me as a good East Anglian book, and I devoured it. I can't say I loved it--it is not a book to love. But I did love the suggestions it gave me about how to see this place. And I also loved that it taught me how Ely got its name--as the eely place.

12:53 PM, February 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like your use of the verb "steep." Your writing both reflects the styles of the prose masters you study and always offers something startlingly original.

11:27 AM, February 21, 2008  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Oh, goodness -- thank you!

11:47 AM, February 21, 2008  

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